Duty Status: Sedentary, Light, Medium, Heavy And Very Heavy
Unless your physician has indicated otherwise, the work limitations set forth by your treating physician are probably defined by the Physical Demands–Strength Rating set forth in Appendix C of the United States Department Of Labor–Dictionary Of Occupational Titles, Fourth Edition, Revised 1991 as follows:
Physical Demands – Strength Rating (Strength)
The Physical Demands Strength Rating reflects the estimated overall strength requirement of the job, expressed in terms of the letter corresponding to the particular strength rating. It represents the strength requirements which are considered to be important for average, successful work performance. The strength rating is expressed by one of five terms: Sedentary, Light, Medium, Heavy, and Very Heavy. In order to determine the overall rating, an evaluation is made of the worker’s involvement in the following activities:
a. Standing, Walking, Sitting
Standing – Remaining on one’s feet in an upright position at a work station with–out moving about.
Walking – Moving about on foot.
Sitting – Remaining in a seated position.
b. Lifting, Carrying, Pushing, Pulling
Lifting – Raising or lowering an object from one level to another (includes upward pulling).
Carrying – Transporting an object, usually holding it in the hands or arms, or on the shoulder.
Pushing – Exerting force upon an object so that the object moves away from the force (includes slapping, striking, kicking, and treadle actions).
Pulling – Exerting force upon an object so that the object moves toward the force (includes jerking).
Lifting, pushing, and pulling are evaluated in terms of both intensity and duration. Consideration is given to the weight handled, position of the worker’s body, and the aid given by helpers or mechanical equipment. Carrying most often is evaluated in terms of duration, weight carried, and distance carried.
Estimating the Strength factor rating for an occupation requires the exercise of care on the part of occupational analysts in evaluating the force and physical effort a worker must exert. For instance, if the worker is in a crouching position, it may be much more difficult to push an object than if pushed at waist height. Also, if the worker is required to lift and carry continuously or push and pull objects over long distances, the worker may exert as much physical effort as is required to similarly move objects twice as heavy, but less frequently and/or over shorter distances.
Controls entail the use of one or both arms or hands (hand/arm) and/or one or both feet or legs (foot/leg) to move controls on machinery or equipment. Controls include but are not limited to buttons, knobs, pedals, levers, and cranks.
Following are descriptions of the five terms in which the Strength Factor is expressed:
S–Sedentary Work – Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally (Occasionally: activity or condition exists up to 1/3 of the time) and/or a negligible amount of force frequently (Frequently: activity or condition exists from 1/3 to 2/3 of the time) to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time, but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met.
L–Light Work – Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly (Constantly: activity or condition exists 2/3 or more of the time) to move objects. Physical demand requirements are in excess of those for Sedentary Work. Even though the weight lifted may be only a negligible amount, a job should be rated LightWork: (1) when it requires walking or standing to a significant degree; or (2) when it requires sittingmost of the time but entails pushing and/or pulling of arm or leg controls; and/or (3) when the job requires working at a production rate pace entailing the constant pushing and/or pulling of materials even though the weight of those materials is negligible.
NOTE: The constant stress and strain of maintaining a production rate pace, especially in an industrial setting, can be and is physically demanding of a worker even though the amount of force exerted is negligible.
M–Medium Work – Exerting 20 to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or 10 to 25 pounds of force frequently, and/or greater than negligible up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects. Physical Demand requirements are in excess of those for Light Work.
H–Heavy Work – Exerting 50 to 100 pounds of force occasionally, and/or 25 to 50 pounds of force frequently, and/or 10 to 20 pounds of force constantly to move objects. Physical Demand requirements are in excess of those for Medium Work.
V–Very Heavy Work – Exerting in excess of 100 pounds of force occasionally, and/or in excess of 50 pounds of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds of force constantly to move objects. Physical Demand requirements are in excess of those for Heavy Work
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