Manual Task Risk Assessment (ManTRA)

Original Editor - Trista Chan

Top Contributors - Trista Chan  

Objective[edit | edit source]

The Manual Task Risk Assessment (ManTRA) was developed in 2000 as an ergonomics risk assessment tool for the inspectors of the Queensland Department of Workplace Health & Safety [1] . It was developed to assess work-related musculoskeletal disorder risk levels in various manual tasks, job roles, or workplace conditions[1]. The aim is to help organisations prioritise preventive measures and allocate resources effectively.[2]


Method of Use[edit | edit source]

The ManTRA tool involves the assessment of five body regions including lower limbs, back, neck/shoulder and arm/wrist/hand. Each body region is rated by its total time of exposure, duration & cycle time (repetition risk), force & speed (exertion risk), awkwardness and vibration on a scale of 1 to 5.[4]

The total cumulative risk score is converted and summed up, with the final score ranging from 5 to 25. This then gives a dichotomous result of 'action required' or 'action not required'.[4]

Control measures associated with manual tasks are recommended if the exertion risk factors reach 5 for any body parts, the sum of exertion and awkwardness reaches 8+, or the cumulative score reaches 15+.[4]

Reference[edit | edit source]

Manual Tasks Risk Assessment (ManTRA)[5]

Evidence[edit | edit source]

The ManTRA tool has shown promising results in evaluating ergonomic risk factors associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders in manual tasks due to its comprehensive consideration of biomechanical risk factors[4]. It has been found to conform with the result of existing tools such as the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ)[4] . Moreover, the reliability and validity of ManTRA were found to be robust with government testing[2].

However, statistical evidence regarding the reliability and validity of the ManTRA was limited in the literature search. It is important to consider that the use of ManTRA may involve subjectivity, hence further studies may be required to assess inter-tester reliability. Specific workplace context also needs to be considered thoroughly when using the ManTRA tool when assessing ergonomic risk related to manual tasks.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Straker L, Pollock C, Burgess-Limerick R, R. Egeskov. An introduction to ManTRA: A tool for manual task risk assessment. 2007 Jan 1;20. ‌
  2. 2.0 2.1 Straker L, Burgess-Limerick R, Pollock C, Egeskov R. A randomized and controlled trial of a participative ergonomics intervention to reduce injuries associated with manual tasks: physical risk and legislative compliance. Ergonomics. 2004 Feb 5;47(2):166–88. ‌
  3. Manual Tasks in the Workplace - PART 1 (Identify Hazards) [Internet]. [cited 2023 Aug 30]. Available from:
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Moussavi–Najarkola SA, Mirzaei R. ManTRA for the Assessment of Musculoskeletal Risk Factors Associated With Manual Tasks in an Electric Factory. Health Scope. 2012 Nov 20;1(3):132–9. ‌
  5. Queensland Work Health & Safety. WHS eTools : ManTRA [Internet]. Available from: