Cornell University Ergonomics Web
The Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) method has been developed by Dr. Lynn McAtamney and Professor E. Nigel Corlett, ergonomists from the University of Nottingham in England (Dr. McAtamney is now at Telstra, Australia) . RULA is a postural targeting method for estimating the risks of work-related upper limb disorders. A RULA assessment gives a quick and systematic assessment of the postural risks to a worker. The analysis can be conducted before and after an intervention to demonstrate that the intervention has worked to lower the risk of injury.
A full description of the RULA method is contained in the original journal
McAtamney, L. & Corlett, E.N. (1993) RULA: a survey method for the investigation of work-related upper limb disorders, Applied Ergonomics, 24, 91-99.
and the book chapter:
McAtamney, L. & Corlett, E.N. (2004) Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) In Stanton, N. et al. (eds.) Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics Methods, Chapter 7, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 7:1 - 7:11.
The following files are downloadable '.pdf' files, and they can be viewed and printed in Adobe Acrobat/Acrobat Reader.
The RULA action levels give you the urgency about the need to change how a person is working as a function of the degree of injury risk.
|Action level||RULA score||Interpretation|
|1||1-2||The person is working in the best posture with no risk of injury from their work posture .|
|2||3-4||The person is working in a posture that could present some risk of injury from their work posture, and this score most likely is the result of one part of the body being in a deviated and awkward position, so this should be investigated and corrected.|
|3||5-6||The person is working in a poor posture with a risk of injury from their work posture, and the reasons for this need to be investigated and changed in the near future to prevent an injury|
|4||7+||The person is working in the worst posture with an immediate risk of injury from their work posture, and the reasons for this need to be investigated and changed immediately to prevent an injury|
Computerized RULA assessments are available from: