Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of the rapid entire body assessment (REBA) tool

Adam H. Schwartz, Thomas J. Albin, Susan G Gerberich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Ergonomics researchers and practitioners use many techniques to assess risk. The Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) is a common tool used to facilitate the measurement and evaluation of the risks associated with working postures as a part of ergonomic workload. However, little work has been reported regarding the reliability of REBA reporting. Objective: This study assesses the reliability of this commonly used tool for research and practice. Methods: The study was conducted as part of the larger Safe Workload Ergonomic Exposure Project (SWEEP), which is a University of Minnesota research initiative for custodians. For this effort, a secondary data analysis was conducted on data collected during a study of custodians’ exposures to risks of musculoskeletal disorders. Eight observers used the REBA tool to sequentially evaluate tasks performed two times in succession by the same individual. Results: This study reports high intra-rater reliability (ICC = 0.925) for REBA raw scores and moderate inter-rater reliability (IRR) (Fleiss kappa = 0.54) for a categorical scoring of REBA. Conclusion: A moderate amount of IRR was found, and a standardized training and calibration protocol is proposed as a potential means to improve intra- and inter-rater reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Assessment
  • Inter-rater reliability
  • Intra-rater reliability
  • REBA


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