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The Quick Exposure Check (QEC) - Inter-rater reliability in total score and individual items

Journal article
Authors Stefan Oliv
Ewa Gustafsson
Adnan Noor Baloch
Mats Hagberg
Helena Sandén
Published in Applied Ergonomics
Volume 76
Pages 32-37
ISSN 0003-6870
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Section of Occupational and environmental medicine
Pages 32-37
Language en
Keywords Risk assesment, Ergonomics, Work related disorders, risk-factors, musculoskeletal disorders, self-report, work, agreement, health, Engineering, Psychology
Subject categories Health Sciences


The development of musculoskeletal disorders has been linked to various risk factors in the work environment including lifting heavy loads, machine and materials handling, work postures, repetitive work, work with handheld vibrating tools, and work stress. The Quick Exposure Check (QEC) was designed to assess exposure to work-related musculoskeletal risk factors affecting the back, shoulder/arm, wrist/hand, and neck. We investigated the inter-rater reliability of the summary scores and individual items of the QEC by comparing two simultaneous assessments of 51 work tasks, performed by 14 different workers. The work tasks were mainly "light" to "moderately heavy". For total scores, the level of disagreement for shoulder/arm had a Relative Position of 0.13 (95% CI: 0.02; 0.23) and no statistically significant random disagreement. Percentage agreement was 63-100% for individual items and 71-88% for total score. Weighted Kappa of agreement for the individual items rated by the assessors were 0.94-0.77; highest for back motion, and lowest for wrist/hand position. The Swedish translation of the Quick Exposure Check has moderate to very good inter-rater reliability with fair to slight levels of systematic disagreement. There was no statistically significant random disagreement.

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