Technology ID

Occupational Safety: Portable Exposure Assessment System for Prevention of Musculoskeletal Injury

Lead Inventor
Pan, Christopher (CDC)
Wimer, Bryan (CDC)
Zeng, Shengke (CDC)
Software / Apps
Research Materials
Occupational Safety and Health
Non-Medical Devices
Medical Devices
Consumer Products
Therapeutic Areas
Infectious Disease
Development Stages
Development Status
  • Early-stage
  • In situ data available (on-site)
  • Prototype
Research Products
Research Equipment
Computational models/software
Lead IC
CDC researchers have developed the Portable Exposure Assessment System (PEAS), a field-based, remotely deployed tool to monitor and provide early warning of working conditions that have a high likelihood of musculoskeletal injury. PEAS is a noninvasive, real-time, instrument-based system. Sensor technology simultaneously measures and collects data regarding the body loads and awkward postures imposed by package handling as well as driving-related, low-frequency vibrations. Wireless technology establishes communication links between the sensors and a data logger and between the data logger and a smart phone with positioning and text messaging capabilities. The data logger records the body weight, posture, and vibration data over time and transfers the data to a databank for archiving and further data analysis. During data recording, the data logger detects the data that either exceed the lifting index limit defined by the NIOSH Lifting Equation or the human whole-body vibration exposure limit defined by the ISO-2631-1 Human Exposure to Whole-Body Vibration standard. The data logger wirelessly transmits the data segment, which contains the marked out-of-limit data, to the smart phone in real-time. The smart phone then automatically dials a predefined number and sends an alert text message and alarm detailing the exposure/safety data, the GPS location of the occurrence, the date/time stamps, and a corresponding safety message. Additionally, the smart phone stores the sent text message for archiving and further data analysis.
Commercial Applications
  • Safety officers within the environmental, safety, and health departments of public and private entities
  • Industrial sectors such as construction, package delivery, manufacturing, healthcare, and trucking
  • Workers' well-being concern groups
  • Insurers and workers' compensation operations
  • Monitoring tasks associated with high rates of personal injury and workers' compensation payments linked to repeated or continual heavy lifting
Competitive Advantages
  • No comparable technology currently exists in the marketplace
  • Real-time notification, via alarm and smart-phone transmission, of injury-risk conditions that are likely to lead to musculoskeletal injury, as well as exposure to slip-, trip-, and fall-related traumatic injuries; both the worker and any monitoring station can be notified by the alarm
  • Portable; approximately the size of a mobile phone and uses comparable technology
Licensing Contact:
Mitzelfelt, Jeremiah