Aspects of Backpack Vacuum Use: Evaluation of Carriage Location and Sweeping Technique

About the webinar:

Informed by field observations as part of the Washington State Janitor Workload Study, this follow-up study aims to enhance our understanding of the backpack vacuum. This common tool among professional custodians and janitors can lead to bodily discomfort in the shoulders during use. Three factors were evaluated in this laboratory experiment: the location of the backpack vacuum on the back  (L3, T12, and T7), sweeping technique (front-to-back and side-to-side), and a new vacuum head design. Professional and novice vacuum users were recruited to participate in the study. Heart rate, trunk posture, and shoulder muscle activity were recorded. Join Dr. Jia-Hua Lin to explore preliminary study results, and to learn how this data will be leveraged to develop guidelines for safe backpack vacuum use.


At the completion of this activity, the learner will be able to:

  • Describe observations from site visits regarding current backpack vacuum use

  • Discuss the development and design of the vacuum use study in a laboratory setting
  • Review preliminary study findings and identify challenges to developing safe backpack vacuum use guidelines


Jia-Hua Lin, PhD, CPE, is a senior research ergonomist with SHARP (Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention) program within the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries in the US. His current research interests include technologies in human factors and ergonomics research and practice, upper extremity biomechanics, office ergonomics, and occupational safety. His collaborations extend to domestic and international universities and hospitals and publishes more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific papers. He is appointed as an Affiliate Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, and serves as the Special Content Editor and a scientific editor for the journal Applied Ergonomics. He received his doctoral degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


The Center for Occupational and Environmental Health designates this activity for a maximum of 1.0 Contact Hour. Participants should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation.


Certificates of Completion will be available to webinar participants who are present for the complete, live webinar, and logged in with their registered email address. Call-in attendees are not eligible for certificates at this time - Please download the Zoom app to log in via email on your smartphone whenever possible.

In order to recieve your Certificate of Completion, qualified learners must complete the post-webinar evaluation within 7 days of the webinar. A link to the evaluation will be emailed to qualified learners 24 hours after the webinar via sends e-mail). Qualified learners who submit their evaluation will receive a Certificate of Completion via email, and can also print/save the certificate from their browser after submitting their evaluation.

If you're not able to attend the live presentation, no problem! We record most presentations and will host them on our website provided we have permission to do so. Presentation recordings are not eligible for Certificates of Completion.


If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) to fully participate in this event, please contact Michelle Meyer at (510) 642-8365 or sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail) with as much advance notice as possible and at least 7-10 days in advance of the event.


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