Work posture - 506 entries found
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Task analysis for developing a training tool
Analyse de l'activité pour le développement d'un outil de formation [in French]
Based on the case of a butcher in an industrial meat-cutting plant, this article presents the approach taken by ergonomists when designing a training programme aimed at minimizing musculoskeletal risk, involving studying and understanding the various tasks carried out.
Travail et santé, Dec. 2011, Vol.27, No.4, p.18-21. Illus. 4 ref.
Analyse_de_l'activité_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in French]
El-Bestar S.F., El-Mitwalli A.A., Khashaba E.O.
Neck-upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders among workers in the telecommunications company at Mansoura City
The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and work-related risk factors of neck-upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among video display terminal (VDT) users. A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted; there were 60 VDT users and 35 controls. The participants filled in a structured questionnaire and were subjected to electrophysiological tests and an X-ray of the neck. The prevalence of MSDs was higher (28.3%) among VDTs users compared to controls (14.3%), however with no statistically significant difference. The prevalence of cervical disorders with or without radiculopathy (18.3%) was the most common disorder followed by carpal tunnel syndrome (6.6%). The mean (SD) age of MSD cases (51 ± 7.2 years) was statistically significantly higher than of the controls (42.8 ± 9). Physical exposure to prolonged static posture (odds ratio OR 6.9), awkward posture (OR 5.5) and repetitive movements (OR 5.5) increased risk of MSDs with a statistically significant difference for static posture only. VDT users experienced more job dissatisfaction, work-overload and limited social support from supervisors and colleagues.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2011, Vol.17, No.2, p.195-205. 27 ref.
Neck-upper_extremity_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Sudo¿-Szopi¿ska I., Bogdan A., Szopi¿ski T., Panorska A.K., Ko¿odziejczak M.
Prevalence of chronic venous disorders among employees working in prolonged standing and sitting postures
This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and severity of chronic venous disorders (CVD) among people working in prolonged sitting or static standing postures. Clinical examination and duplex Doppler sonography were performed on 126 employees working in a sitting (96 individuals) or a standing posture (30 individuals). Evidence of CVD was found in 59.4% of individuals working in a sitting posture and in 83.4% of those working in a standing posture, and was significantly higher in employees working in a standing posture. Incompetent perforating veins, vena saphena magna valves and bilateral changes were the more frequent signs of CVD. Implications of these findings are discussed.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2011, Vol.17, No.2, p.165-173. Illus. 23 ref.
Prevalence_of_chronic_venous_disorders_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Milosavljevic S., Gregory D.E., Pal P., Carman A.B., Milburn P.D., Callaghan J.P.
The interaction between skill, postures, forces and back pain in wool handling
Wool handling is an important rural occupation where workers process 200 or more fleeces daily, separating them into various quality components. Loads and postures they experience carry substantial risk of low back pain (LBP). Although a formal skill training structure exists, interaction with loads and LBP is unknown. This study examined whether skill and LBP influenced trunk postures and loads of 60 wool handlers representing three skill levels. LBP prevalence ranged from 20% for junior (lowest skill) to 45% for open class (highest skill) wool handlers. Open class wool handlers demonstrated increased lateral bend and more axially twisted postures, generating greater medio-lateral shear forces and lateral bend and axial twist moments. LBP was associated with open class wool handlers spending more time in severe axially twisted postures. These findings suggest that skill-based training needs to be reviewed to reduce the quantity of axially twisted posture which may help reduce the prevalence of LBP in this workforce.
Applied Ergonomics, Nov. 2011, Vol.42, No.6, p.801-806. Illus. 15 ref.
Cascioli V., Heusch A.I., McCarthy P.W.
Does prolonged sitting with minimum legroom affect the flexibility of a healthy subject and their perception of discomfort?
This study examined for differences in subjective ratings of discomfort and comfort and objective measures of hamstring, lumbar and neck flexibility in 24 healthy young subjects following 4h of sitting on stacking chairs with or without limited legroom. When comparing the limited and unlimited legroom groups for differences in subjective and objective measures over 4h, no significant findings were seen at the 5% level of confidence. However, differences in buttock, neck, shoulder and average discomfort were significantly negatively correlated to differences between post-warm up sit-reach scores. The difference in buttock discomfort was significantly negatively correlated to the difference between pre-warm up sit-reach scores, post-sitting/pre-warm up and pre-sitting/post-warm up sit-reach scores. Implications of these findings are discussed.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 2011, Vol.41, p.471-480. Illus. 61 ref.
Does_prolonged_sitting.pdf [in English]
Kierklo A., Kobus A., Jaworska M., Botuliński B.
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders among dentists - A questionnaire survey
The objective of this study was to assess the musculoskeletal health of Polish dentists. It was carried in the form of a questionnaire survey of a cross-sectional sample of 220 dentists. The questionnaire addressed demographic details, work duration and acquired specialization, organization and methods of work, and musculoskeletal disorders. It was found that over 92% of the surveyed dentists experienced MSDs, especially in the neck (47%) and lower back (35%). More than 29% experienced trouble with fingers, 23% with hip, 20% in the mid-back, 20% in the shoulders, 18.3% in the wrists and 15-16% in knees, feet or elbows. Statistical dependence was shown between the years of practice and the period of time when disorders occurred. Moreover, significant relationships were found between MSDs and both standing work position and non-use of rest breaks. Implications of these findings are discussed.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2011, Vol.18, p.79-84. Illus. 21 ref.
Work-related_musculoskeletal_disorders.pdf [in English]
Sorensen C.J., Haddad O., Campbell S., Mirka G.A.
The effect of stance width on trunk kinematics and trunk kinetics during sagitally symmetric lifting
The sports biomechanics literature has documented changes in trunk and lower extremity kinematics and muscle coactivation patterns as a function of stance width during high force dead lift and squat exercises. The focus of the current study was to explore whether these lifting stance width effects might translate into the occupational setting under more moderate load level conditions. Twelve subjects performed repetitions of a sagittally symmetric lifting and lowering task (10 kg load) under three stance width conditions: narrow (feet together), moderate (feet shoulder width) and wide (feet 150% of shoulder width). As they performed these exertions, trunk kinematics were captured using the lumbar motion monitor while the activity of the trunk muscles (erector spinae, rectus abdominis) and lower extremity muscles (gluteus maximus, vastus lateralis and vastus medialis) were evaluated using normalized electromyography. The results showed that both the range of motion and peak acceleration in the sagittal plane were significantly affected by the stance width. The muscle activation levels, however, were not significantly affected by the stance width. These results collectively would indicate that the stance width effects seen in power lifting activities do not translate well into the occupational environment where more moderate loads are typically lifted.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 2011, Vol.41, p.147-152. Illus. 16 ref.
Krause N., Burgel B., Rempel D.
Effort-reward imbalance and one-year change in neck-shoulder and upper-extremity pain among call center computer operators
The aim of this study was to investigate prospectively the independent effects of effort-reward imbalance (ERI) at work on regional musculoskeletal pain of the neck and upper extremities of call centre operators. It was conducted in the form of a one-year prospective study among 165 call centre operators in the United States who participated in an earlier randomized ergonomic intervention. Over a four-week period, ERI and 28 potential confounders were measures by means of a questionnaire at baseline. Regional upper-body pain and computer use was measured by weekly surveys for up to 12 months following the implementation of ergonomic interventions. Regional pain change scores were calculated as the difference between average weekly pain scores pre- and post-intervention. A significant relationship was found between high average ERI ratios and one-year increases in right upper-extremity pain after adjustment for pre-intervention regional mean pain score, current and past physical workload, ergonomic workstation design, and anthropometric, sociodemographic, and behavioural risk factors. No significant associations were found with change in neck-shoulder or left upper-extremity pain. Findings suggest that ERI predicts regional upper-extremity pain in computer operators working ≥20h per week. Control for physical workload and ergonomic workstation design was essential for identifying ERI as a risk factor.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 2010, Vol.36, No.1, p.42-53. 54 ref.
Takala E.P., Pehkonen I., Forsman M., Hansson G.Å., Mathiassen S.E., Neumann W.P., Sjøgaard G., Veiersted K.B., Westgaard R.H., Winkel J.
Systematic evaluation of observational methods assessing biomechanical exposures at work
This systematic literature review aimed to identify published observational methods assessing biomechanical exposures in occupational settings and evaluate them with reference to the needs of different users. A total of 30 relevant observational methods were identified. Of these, 19 had been compared with other methods, varying from expert evaluation to data obtained from video recordings or through the use of technical instruments. Generally, the observations showed moderate to good agreement with the corresponding assessments made from video recordings; agreement was the best for large-scale body postures and work actions. Wrist and hand postures as well as trunk rotation seemed to be more difficult to observe correctly. Intra- and inter-observer repeatability was reported for 7 and 17 methods, respectively, and were judged mostly moderate to good. It is concluded that with training, observers can reach consistent results on clearly-visible body postures and work activities. Many observational tools exist, but none evaluated in this study appeared to be generally superior. When selecting a method, users should define their needs and assess how results will influence decision-making.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 2010, Vol.36, No.1, p.3-24. 159 ref.
Systematic_evaluation.pdf [in English]
Nonnenmann M.W., Anton D.C., Gerr F., Yack H.J.
Dairy farm worker exposure to awkward knee posture during milking and feeding tasks
Musculoskeletal disorders are common among agricultural workers, particularly among dairy farm workers, who have been specifically identified as being at risk for knee osteoarthritis. Physical risk factors that may contribute to knee osteoarthritis include awkward postures of the knee, such as kneeling or squatting. The purpose of this study was to quantify exposure to awkward knee posture among dairy farm workers during milking and feeding tasks in two common types of milking facilities (stanchion and parlor). Twenty-three dairy farm workers performed milking and feeding tasks; 11 worked in a stanchion milking facility, and 12 worked in a parlor milking facility. An electrogoniometer was used to measure knee flexion during 30 min of the milking and feeding tasks. Findings are discussed. Milking in a stanchion facility results in a greater duration of exposure to awkward posture of the knee compared with milking in a parlor facility.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Sep. 2010, Vol.7, p.483-489. Illus. 35 ref.
Phan Chan The E.
Taking care of one's back - For a day, for life
Prendre soin de son dos - Un jour, une vie [in French]
Contents of this guidance sheet by an occupational physician on the prevention of back disorders: definitions (manual handling, postural and articular constraints, musculoskeletal disorders); prevention of low back disorders (information and training of workers, back training, lowering the occupational demands, acting on functional capacity by improving physical aptitude).
Préventique-Sécurité, Nov.-Dec. 2010, No.114, p.53-56. Illus.
Whole-body vibration and degenerative diseases of the lumbar spine - Cause and effect
Ganzkörper-Schwingungen und bandscheibenbedingte Erkrankungen der Lendenwirbelsäule - Ursache und Wirkung [in German]
This review article explains the mechanisms that cause degenerative diseases of the lumbar column among workers exposed to long-term whole-body vibration.
Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, July 2010, Vol.60, No.17. p.220-232. Illus. 72 ref.
Onishi N., Hanawa K., Tutui Y., Tutui T.
Muscle load during lifting transfer by care facility workers
Shisetsu kaigo rōdō ni okeru ijō sagyō no kinteki futan [in Japanese]
The workload of lifting transfer work by care facility workers was investigated by electromyography. The patients, transferred from a bed to a wheelchair, were old people with weights ranging from 32-55kg. Transfers, lasting 6-8sec, were performed by paired workers. Electromyographic measurements showed excess loads on certain muscles and unnatural postures. It is proposed that lifting transfer movements be modified so that there is no lifting at all in a vertical direction.
Journal of Science of Labour - Rōdō Kagaku, 2010, Vol.86, No.3, p.139-150. Illus. 25 ref.
Development of ergonomic measures for agricultural work
Nōgyō-rōdō e no ningen-kōgaku-teki taisaku no tenkai [in Japanese]
A larger role is proposed for labour science and ergonomics in agriculture, because of the essential nature of this industry and its likely increased importance in a world where food crises develop more frequently. In particular, the muscle burden on farmers should be decreased, as many of them (especially in Japan) are elderly and there are relatively few younger workers entering the field. Two case studies are outlined in fruit growing.
Journal of Science of Labour - Rōdō Kagaku, 2010, Vol.86, No.2, p.113-124. Illus. 26 ref.
Plamondon A., Denis D., Bellefeuille S., Delisle A., Gonella M., Salazar E., Gagnon D., Larivière C., St-Vincent M., Nastasia I.
Expert/novice comparison of handling injury risks
Manutention - Comparaison des façons de faire entre les experts et les novices [in French]
Manual handling workers run risks of suffering back injuries. Earlier studies financed by the IRSST to find solutions to this chronic problem have resulted in advances in knowledge, but results remain incomplete due to the small number of experimental conditions studied. This study builds on previous work, and involved observing experienced and novice manual handling workers in various simulated working conditions. Data collected included biometric measurements, body movement recordings and muscular load measurements. Findings are discussed.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2010. xi, 108p. Illus. 96 ref. Price: CAD 14.70. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
Rapport_R-663.pdf [in French]
Niskanen T., Lehtelä J., Ketola R., Nykyri E.
Results of Finnish national survey on EU legislation concerning computer work
The European Directive on computer work (VDU 90/270/EEC, see CIS 90-1069) is implemented in the Finnish Government Decree. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of the legislation and its applications in practice. Data were collected by means of online questionnaires from 934 employers, 1872 employees and 289 occupational health care (OHC) units. Findings are discussed. The practical conclusion is that employees' visual acuity examinations and compensation for eyeglasses should be better promoted and adopted for employees engaged in computer work. Moreover, ergonomic improvements are best carried out in co-operation with OHC personnel.
Applied Ergonomics, July 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.542-548. 29 ref.
Yoo I.G., Jung M.Y, Jeon H.S., Lee J.
Effects of wrist-extension orthosis on shoulder and scapular muscle activities during simulated assembly tasks
The purpose of this study was to observe changes in electromyographic activity in shoulder and scapular muscles. Sixteen right-handed subjects were asked to perform two simulated assembling operations without a wrist extension brace, with a short wrist extension brace and with a long wrist extension brace. As a result of repetitive assembling operation requiring shoulder movement, electromyographic activity in upper trapezius and serratus anterior increased significantly when the subjects wore the short and long wrist extension braces compared to none. When the subjects performed repetitive assembling operation requiring shoulder stability, electromyographic activity in upper trapezius, lower trapezius, serratus anterior and anterior deltoid showed significant increase when they wore the short and long wrist extension braces compared to none. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Industrial Health, Jan. 2010, Vol.48, No.1, p.108-114. Illus. 28 ref.
Effects_of_wrist-extension_orthosis.pdf [in English]
Hess J.A., Kincl L., Amasay T., Wolfe P.
Ergonomic evaluation of masons laying concrete masonry units and autoclaved aerated concrete
Masons working with concrete masonry unit (CMU) blocks have high rates of work-related musculoskeletal disorders to the low back and shoulders associated with repetitively lifting and buttering heavy blocks. Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) may reduce the risk of shoulder and back injury. This study evaluated shoulder exposure parameters, low back stress and worker perceptions in two groups of masons, one using CMU and the other using AAC blocks. Results indicate that for the left arm, AAC masons spent significantly more time than CMU masons in static (38.2% versus 31.1%, respectively), and less time in slow motions (48.2% versus 52.2%, respectively) and faster motions (13.6% versus 16.7%, respectively). CMU masons had significantly greater shoulder and low back pain and they held blocks significantly longer than AAC masons. Low back compressive forces were high for both materials. Masons handling AAC demonstrated less left upper extremity stress but both materials were estimated to be hazardous to the low back.
Applied Ergonomics, May 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.477-483. Illus. 26 ref.
Scuffham A.M., Legg S.J., Firth E.C., Stevenson M.A.
Prevalence and risk factors associated with musculoskeletal discomfort in New Zealand veterinarians
A cross-sectional study using a modified Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire was addressed to 867 New Zealand veterinarians concerning the presence or absence of musculoskeletal discomfort (MSD). A binary logistic regression analysis was used to quantify the association between identified risk factors and the presence of MSD requiring absence from work in the previous 12 months. The overall period prevalence of MSD was 96%; 67% of the participants had normal activities being affected and 18% reported that they had been absent from work due to MSDs. The lower back was the body site most commonly reported for MSDs (73%). Factors increasing the odds of MSDs requiring time off work for clinical veterinarians were 10-year increases in age (odds ratio (OR) 1.26), work involving awkward grip and hand movements 100% of time (OR 12.91) and dissatisfaction with the level and difficulty of the work (OR 2.27). Implications of these findings are discussed.
Applied Ergonomics, May 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.444-453. 67 ref.
Pillastrini P., Mugnai R., Bertozzi L., Costi S., Curti S., Guccione A., Mattioli S., Violante F.S.
Effectiveness of an ergonomic intervention on work-related posture and low back pain in video display terminal operators: A 3 year cross-over trial
This study investigated the effectiveness of a workstation ergonomic intervention for work-related posture and low back pain (LBP) in Video Display Terminal (VDT) workers. A total of 100 VDT workers were selected to receive the ergonomic intervention, while 100 were assigned to a control group. The two groups were then crossed-over after 30 months from baseline. Follow-ups were repeated at 5, 12, and 30 months from baseline and then at 6 months following crossover. Work-related posture and LBP point-prevalence were assessed using the Rapid Entire Body Assessment method and a Pain Drawing, respectively. The ergonomic intervention at the workstation improved work-related posture and was effective in reducing LBP point-prevalence both in the first study period and after crossover, and these effects persisted for at least 30 months. Findings confirm that individualized ergonomic interventions may be able to improve work-related posture and reduce LBP for VDT workers.
Applied Ergonomics, May 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.436-443. Illus. 63 ref.
Rijn R.M., Huisstede B.M.A., Koes B.W.
Associations between work-related factors and specific disorders of the shoulder - A systematic review of the literature
The aim of this study was to provide a quantitative assessment of the exposure-response relationships between work-related physical and psychosocial factors and the occurrence of specific shoulder disorders in occupational populations. A systematic literature review was conducted on the associations between type of work, physical load factors, and psychosocial aspects at work, on the one hand, and the occurrence of tendinitis of the biceps tendon, rotator cuff tears, subacromial impingement syndrome (SIS) and suprascapular nerve compression, on the other hand. Associations between work factors and shoulder disorders were expressed as odds ratios or relative risks. Findings are discussed. It is concluded that highly repetitive work, forceful exertion in work, awkward postures and high psychosocial job demand are associated with the occurrence of SIS.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, May 2010, Vol.36, No.3, p.189-201. Illus. 46 ref.
Associations_between.pdf [in English]
Bernard T.E., Wilder F.V., Aluoch M., Leaverton P.E.
Job-related osteoarthritis of the knee, foot, hand, and cervical spine
The objective of this study was to assess the influence of occupational exposures on risk of site-specific radiographic osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, hand, foot and cervical spine. Using a cross-sectional design, data collected from 3436 men and women aged 40 years and older participating in the Clearwater Osteoarthritis Study was analyzed. Subjects' occupational exposures were queried using the study intake form, including stair climbing, standing on a rigid surface, squatting and jolting. Physical examinations including radiographs of the knee, hand, foot and cervical spine were conducted. The Kellgren and Lawrence ordinal scale was used to determine evidence of radiographic OA. Both the unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for men and women indicated that age and body mass index were associated with OA. There were no other significant odds ratios for the cervical spine. Among men, there were significant associations with knee OA for stair climbing and jolting of the legs and with foot OA with stair climbing. Among women, there was a significant association between standing on a rigid surface and knee OA. For hand OA in women, there was a significant association for jolting of the hands.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2010, Vol.52, No.1, p.33-38. 26 ref.
Code of practice - Manual tasks 2010
This code of practice provides general guidance for employers and workers on the identification, assessment and control of safety and health hazards associated with manual tasks in which forces are exerted, loads are handled and which involve repetitive movement, awkward or sustained postures, and which use equipment and tools that expose workers to vibration. It also includes information on key OSH legislative and regulatory requirements in Western Australia as they relate to hazardous manual tasks.
Commission for occupational safety and health, 1260 Hay Street, PO Box 294, West Perth, WA 6872, Australia, 2010. PDF document, 44p. Illus.
http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe/PDF/Codes_of_Practice/Code_manual_handling.pdf [in English]
Fan J.K., McLeod C.B., Koehoorn M.
Sociodemographic, clinical, and work characteristics associated with return-to-work outcomes following surgery for work-related knee injury
This study examined the association between return-to-work (RTW) outcomes and sociodemographic, clinical, and work characteristics among a cohort of injured workers who underwent knee surgery between 2001 and 2005 in British Columbia, Canada. Workers' compensation databases were used to identify the retrospective cohort and abstract the study variables. Data available for 1394 injured workers were subjected to statistical analysis. Compared to men, women were more likely to have partial RTW (odds ratio OR 2.55) and non-RTW (OR 2.61) than full RTW; low income earners were more likely than high income earners to have partial RTW (OR 3.05) and non-RTW (OR 4.07). Moreover, workers in trade, primary resource, and processing/manufacturing occupations were more likely than those in management occupations to have non-RTW than full RTW by the end of follow-up (OR 2.97, 9.31 and OR 2.71 respectively). Surgical and clinical factors were not associated with RTW outcomes. Other findings are discussed.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 2010, Vol.36, No.4, p.332-338. 40 ref.
Bonzini M., Coggon D., Godfrey K., Inskip H., Crozier S., Palmer K.T.
Occupational physical activities, working hours and outcome of pregnancy: Findings from the Southampton Women's survey
The objective of this study was to investigate risks of physical activity at work by pregnancy trimester, including the effects on head and abdominal circumference. At 34 weeks of gestation 1327 expectant mothers participating in a wider cohort study were interviewed on their activities (working hours, shift work and work postures) in jobs held at each of 11, 19 and 34 weeks of gestation, and subsequently ascertained birth outcomes (preterm delivery, small for gestational age (SGA) and reduced head or abdominal circumference). Risk of preterm delivery was elevated nearly threefold in women whose work at 34 weeks entailed trunk bending for >1h/day. Small head circumference was more common in babies born to women who worked for >40h/week. However, no statistically significant associations were found with SGA or small abdominal circumference, and preterm delivery showed little association with long working hours, lifting, standing or shift work.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2009, Vol.66. No.10, p.685-690. 24 ref.
Occupational_physical_activities.pdf [in English]
Patrón Vilar J.M., Ledesma de Miguel J.
Evaluation of the postural load at forestry workplaces
Evaluación de la carga postural en puestos de trabajo en el sector forestal [in Spanish]
In this study, three forestry workplaces were analyzed (tree pruning at height and on ground, and tree felling), the final objective being to evaluate the physical workload of workers under various postures. The evaluation was conducted using several methods, including RULA and OWAS. Findings are discussed and recommendations aimed at reducing the onset of certain muskculoskeletal disorders are proposed.
Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo, Dec. 2009, No.55, p.34-40. Illus. 4 ref.
dos Santos Rebelo F., Filgueiras E.V.
Manual handling of loads and seated work - Ergoshow
Movimentação manual de cargas e trabalho sentado - Ergoshow [in Portuguese]
Booklet and CD-ROM of a training programme primarily designed to raise the consciousness of young people on working posture which, if incorrect, can lead to musculoskeletal problems during the handling of loads or when working seated. The CD-ROM contains two modules of an interactive game (handling of loads and seated work), user-friendly to motivate young people to use this multimedia programme.
Autoridade para as Condições do Trabalho (ACT), Av. Casal Ribeiro 18A
1000-092 Lisbon, Portugal, 2nd ed., 2009. 23p. Illus. + CD-ROM. Price: EUR 7.50.
Reducing manual handling workers compensation claims in a public health facility
This article describes the implementation of a manual handling programme in various healthcare facilities in the region of Canberra, the capital of Australia. The programme involved consultation of the employees, hazard identification, hazard evaluation, engineering controls, behavioural controls, training systems and supporting management systems. A systematic approach was followed, with well-defined strategies for the various stages of pre-implementation, implementation and post-implementation. From 2005 to 2008, compensation claims were reduced by between 60% and 80%, time lost due to claims by between 79% and 98%, and costs by between 70% and 99%.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, Dec. 2009, Vol.25, No.6, p.451-459. Illus. 14 ref.
Kotowski S.E., Davis K.G., Waters T.R.
Investigation of select ergonomic interventions for farm youth. Part 1: Shovels; Part 2: Wheelbarrows
The objective of this study was to investigate alternative shovel and wheelbarrow designs as an intervention for youth working to transfer material on the farm with respect to trunk motion and perceived exertion. A lumbar motion monitor was used to capture three-dimensional trunk kinematics during a simulated shoveling and wheelbarrow tasks. Ratings of perceived exertion and comfort of use were also assessed. Results indicated that shovel add-on handles decreased sagittal flexion but increased twisting compared to ordinary shovels. For wheelbarrows, a reduction in the sagittal trunk flexion and velocity was achieved by adding a push bar to the handles, in combination with three-wheels, or utilizing adjustable handles. However, these alterations had little impact on the predicted low back disorder risk levels. Additionally, the youths' perceptions of risk and exertion levels were greater for these alternative shovels and wheelbarrows than for the regular designs. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Journal of Agromedicine, 1st quarter 2009, Vol.14, No.1, p.33-43. Illus. 26 ref. (Part 1); p.44-57. Illus. 12 ref. (Part 2).
Naidoo S., Kromhout H., London L., Naidoo R.N., Burdorf A.
Musculoskeletal pain in women working in small-scale agriculture in South Africa
The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence and factors associated with musculoskeletal pain in 911 women working in small-scale agriculture in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Data were collected by means of questionnaires. In total, 67% of women reported chronic musculoskeletal pain. The 12-month prevalence of pain ranged from 63.9% to 73.3% and the prevalence of specific chronic pain lasting more than three months ranged from 42.8% to 48.3%. Older age, carrying heavy loads, working with hands above shoulder height, and frequently squatting and kneeling were associated with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Ergonomic interventions including improved and adapted work techniques and tools should be considered to reduce the prevalence of pain among these workers.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Mar. 2009, Vol.52, No.3, p.202-209. 35 ref.
Occupational exposure to whole body vibration - Train drivers
Whole body vibration exposure of the train drivers working for Turkish state railways was assessed with reference to ISO standard 2631-1 and European Directive 2002/44/EC(CIS 02-24). The vibration measurements were carried out in the drivers' cabins of suburban and intercity trains. Suburban train drivers usually work in a standing posture, while intercity train drivers' work seated and are exposed to longer periods of continuous vibration. Daily exposure action values suggested in European Directive were exceeded in case of intercity train drivers and their exposure falls within the health caution zone of ISO 2631-1. Intercity train drivers are therefore under the risk of having back disorders. It is proposed that the spinal column of train drivers be examined every five years and that extended work days be avoided.
Industrial Health, Jan. 2009, Vol.47, No.1, p.5-10. 20 ref.
http://www.jniosh.go.jp/en/indu_hel/pdf/IH_47_1_5.pdf [in English]
Mork P.J., Westgaard R.H.
Back posture and low back muscle activity in female computer workers: A field study
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between back posture, low back muscle activity and low back pain among women computer workers. Twenty-one female computer workers participated. Surface electromyographic activity was recorded from several lumbar region muscles throughout the workday. Inclinometer recordings from the pelvis, upper trunk, and left thigh were used to determine back posture. Low back pain intensity was reported using a visual analogue scale every hour throughout the work and leisure periods. Subjects reporting low back pain during the workday were not distinguished by duration of sitting, sitting posture or low back muscle activity. Other findings are discussed.
Clinical Biomechanics, Feb. 2009, Vol.24, No.2, p.169-175. Illus. 35 ref.
Robertson M., Amick B.C., DeRango K., Rooney T., Bazzani L., Harrist R., Moore A.
The effects of an office ergonomics training and chair intervention on worker knowledge, behavior and musculoskeletal risk
A field intervention study was undertaken to examine the effects of office ergonomics training coupled with the supply of an adjustable chair on office workers' knowledge of musculoskeletal risks. A total of 216 office workers were assigned to one of three groups: a group receiving the training and adjustable chair, a training-only group, and a control group. Pre and post-training knowledge tests were administered to all those who attended the training. Body postures and workstation set-ups were observed before and after the intervention. Perceived control over the physical work environment was higher for both intervention groups as compared to workers in the control group. Significant improvements in ergonomic knowledge and behaviour were observed for the intervention groups, who also had lower musculoskeletal risks than the control group. However, the effect of the chair was non conclusive.
Applied Ergonomics, Jan. 2009, Vol.40, No.1, p.124-135. Illus. 38 ref.
Meck J.V, Buccello-Stout R.R., Warren L.E.
The NASA Flight Analog Project: Head-down bed rest studies
Whole supplement of the major aerospace medicine journal, devoted to the physiological and psychological effects of long-term space travel involving situations of low or no gravity, as simulated by volunteers spending 60-90 days in a bed-rest position on a bed inclined -6° relative to the horizontal (under normal conditions of gravity). The study measured the effects of this simulation on: vital signs and fluid balance; nutritional status; the bones; the cardiovascular system; immune status, latent viral reactivation and stress; postural reflexes, balance control and functional mobility; behavioural and psychological issues; cognitive functioning.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, May 2009, Vol.80. No.5 (Section II: Supplement), whole issue (65p.) Illus. Bibl.ref.
Leah C., Birtles M.
Health and Safety Executive
Musculoskeletal disorders in podiatry and chiropody professionals - Reducing the risk
Previous research recognized risks of musculoskeletal ill health within working podiatrists, as an area where interventions may be effective in improving podiatrists working postures by reducing their exposure to musculoskeletal risks. The main objective of this project was to introduce some portable equipment for podiatrists to use on domiciliary visits and highlight any improvements that the equipment has on the working postures when podiatrists are performing treatments. During observations of the podiatrists using this equipment for client's treatments, opinions were noted and the podiatrists working postures were filmed for analysis. Posture analysis showed that the equipment significantly improved the podiatrists working postures during domiciliary visits. Recommendations are made for improving the equipment. These are mainly related to the equipment's current limited range of adjustability. Recommendations are also made for the correct way of introducing this equipment into the podiatry sector, transporting the equipment and eliminating cross contamination between patients.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2008. viii, 15p. Illus. 3 ref.
HSE_Research_Report_647.pdf [in English]
Toomingas A., Gavhed D.
Workstation layout and work postures at call centres in Sweden in relation to national law, EU-directives and ISO-standards, and to operators' comfort and symptoms
A survey of workstation layout and work postures among 156 operators was performed in 16 call centres in Sweden, relating data of operators' comfort and symptoms to compliance with ISO standards, EU directives and Swedish work environment legislation. The quality of the furniture and equipment was generally good and complied with laws, directives and standards. However they were not always positioned and adjusted to fit individual operators to allow good work postures. Awkward postures were, therefore, seen in shoulders and wrists. The lack of easy height adjustability of many desks was noted, associated with poorer seated postures and back pain. The conditions were more generally better at internal call centres as opposed to external (outsourced) enterprises.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 2008, Vol.38, p.1051-1061. Illus. 51 ref.
Seidler A., Bolm-Audorff U., Abolmaali N., Elsner G.
The role of cumulative physical work load in symptomatic knee osteoarthritis - A case-control study in Germany
The objective of this case-control study was to examine the dose-response relationship between cumulative exposure to kneeling and squatting as well as to lifting and carrying of loads and knee osteoarthritis. A total of 295 male patients aged 25 to 70 with radiographically-confirmed knee osteoarthritis associated with chronic complaints were recruited from orthopedic clinics and medical practices, together with 327 male controls. Data were gathered in a structured personal interview. Self-reported durations of kneeling and squatting as well of lifting and carrying of loads were summed up over the entire working life. Findings support a dose-response relationship between kneeling/squatting and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. Lifting and carrying of loads were significantly associated with knee osteoarthritis independently of kneeling and squatting. Other findings are discussed.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, July 2008, Vol.3, No.14, 8p. Illus. 23 ref.
http://www.occup-med.com/content/pdf/1745-6673-3-14.pdf [in English]
Jepsen J.R., Thomsen G.
Prevention of upper limb symptoms and signs of nerve afflictions in computer operators: The effect of intervention by stretching
The aim of this study was to develop an intervention programme for the prevention of upper-limb pain among computer users, and to test its efficiency. Computer users in two divisions of an engineering consultancy company were invited to answer a questionnaire on upper limb symptoms and to undergo a neurological examination. Participants in one division subsequently attended an upper limb stretching course where they were instructed on exercises they had to perform at least three times a day during a six month period. Subjects from the other division served as controls. At the end of the intervention, both groups were invited to a second identical evaluation by questionnaire and physical examination. Pain was significantly reduced in the intervention group but unchanged in controls. Other findings are discussed.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, Jan. 2008, Vol.3, No.1, 13p. Illus. 27 ref.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2263066/pdf/1745-6673-3-1.pdf [in English]
Ebara T., Kubo T., Inoue T., Murasaki G.I., Takeyama H., Sato T., Suzumura H., Niwa S., Takanishi T., Tachi N., Itani T.
Effects of adjustable sit-stand VDT workstations on workers' musculoskeletal discomfort, alertness and performance
Adjustable sit-stand workstations, which are designed to allow workers to sit and stand autonomously while working, were examined to identify the effects on workers' musculoskeletal comfort, alertness and performance. Twenty-four healthy subjects participated in the study. The subjects were required to do an English transcription task for 150 min using standard and high-chairs, under various sitting and standing conditions and sequences. Findings are discussed. This study revealed that although the use of sit-stand workstations can contribute to keeping workers' arousal level steady, it has an adverse effect on musculoskeletal comfort.
Industrial Health, Sep. 2008, Vol.46, No.5, p.497-505. Illus. 20 ref.
http://www.jniosh.go.jp/en/indu_hel/pdf/IH_46_5_497.pdf [in English]
Hartmann B., Seidel D.
Musculoskeletal complaints among employees in the construction sector
Beschwerden am Muskel-Skelett-System von Beschäftigten in der Bauwirtschaft [in German]
Data on occupational health examinations in the construction sector provide details concerning the physical load of the musculoskeletal system and related complaints. This study analyses the data concerning 118,379 men and 11,775 women obtained between 1991 and 2003. The odds ratios for back pain are significantly higher with heavy loads (1.60), forced postures (1.33), whole-body vibration (1.27) and hand-arm vibration (1.23). Articular pain also shows significant relations to heavy loads (1.52), forced postures (1.33), whole-body vibration (1.23) and hand-arm vibration (1.29). The combination between heavy loads, forced postures and hand-arm vibration influences most strongly back pain (OR 2.44) and articular pain (OR 1.4). Other findings are discussed.
Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, Sep. 2008, Vol.58, No.9, p.264-273. Illus. 20 ref.
Järvholm B., From C., Lewold S., Malchau H., Vingård E.
Incidence of surgically treated osteoarthritis in the hip and knee in male construction workers
The objective of this cohort study was to examine the association between workload and hip and knee osteoarthritis. The cohort consisted of 204,741 men employed in the Swedish construction sector. Incident cases were found by linkage with the Swedish hospital register between 1987 and 1998. Incidence rates adjusted for age and body mass index were compared between different occupational groups. There was a significantly increased risk of surgically treated osteoarthritis in the knee among floor layers, asphalt workers, sheet-metal workers, rock workers, plumbers, brick layers, wood workers and concrete workers. Even if there was a trend towards increased relative risks for hip osteoarthritis, it was not statistically significant. At least 50% of the cases of severe osteoarthritis of the knee can be prevented by adopting preventive measures.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2008, Vol.65, No.4, p.275-278. Illus. 24 ref.
Knee osteoarthritis: Influence of work involving heavy lifting, kneeling, climbing stairs or ladders, or kneeling/squatting combined with heavy lifting
The purpose of this literature survey was to evaluate the evidence for an association between knee osteoarthritis (OA) and physical work demands. Epidemiological studies published from 1966 to 2007 were reviewed. Moderate evidence was found for a relationship between kneeling, heavy lifting and knee OA. For the combination of kneeling/squatting and heavy lifting the association seemed stronger than for kneeling/squatting or heavy lifting alone, but only a few studies were found concerning this relationship. In the studies on the association between knee OA and climbing stairs or ladders, there was an increased risk for knee OA, but again only a few studies were found and no dose-response relationship was investigated. The evidence of a causal relationship is therefore considered to be limited.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2008, Vol.65, No.2, p.72-89. Illus. 45 ref.
Schell E., Theorell T., Hasson D., Arnetz B., Saraste H.
Impact of a web-based stress management and health promotion program on neck-shoulder-back pain in knowledge workers? 12 month prospective controlled follow-up
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a web-based stress management programme on perceived neck-shoulder-back pain. It involved 226 employees of a Swedish television channel who were divided into two study groups and one control group. The programme tool was offered to both study groups, while one group was also offered a more conventional programme of stress management exercises. Data were collected from all three groups at baseline, after six months and after twelve months. The group with more intensive programme showed decreased low back pain. There were no significant differences between the groups in neck-shoulder pain. Other findings are discussed. Overall, the effectiveness of the programme was not proven conclusively.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2008, Vol.50, No.6, p.667-676. Illus. 28 ref.
Jensen L.K., Friche C.
Effect of training to implement new working methods to reduce knee strain in floor layers. A two-year follow-up
The aim of this follow-up study was to measure the effects of an implementation strategy consisting of information and training in the use of new tools and working-methods for the purpose of reducing knee strain and knee complaints in floor layers. Data were collected from 292 floor layers by means of questionnaires during the programme and two years later from 216 course participants and a control group of 454 floor layers not having received the training. Findings indicate that within a two-year perspective, the implementation strategy to introduce new working methods in the floor laying trade was effective. The number of floor layers using the new working-methods increased, while that of severe knee problems was reduced. Other findings are discussed.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2008, Vol.65, No.1, p.20-27. Illus. 14 ref.
Hip osteoarthritis: Influence of work with heavy lifting, climbing stairs or ladders, or combining kneeling/squatting with heavy lifting
The aim of this literature survey was to evaluate the evidence for an association between hip osteoarthritis (OA) and physical work demands. Epidemiological studies on hip OA and heavy lifting, published between 1966 and 2007, were reviewed. Moderate to strong evidence was found for a relation between heavy lifting and hip OA. However, the burdens have to be at least 10-20 kg and the duration at least 10-20 years to give a clearly increased risk of hip OA. Among farmers, the risk of hip OA seems doubled after approximately 10 years of farming and the evidence is considered as moderate to strong. On the other hand, the evidence for a relation between hip OA and physical workload among construction workers is limited. Finally, there is insufficient evidence that climbing stairs or ladders causes hip OA.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2008, Vol.65, No.1, p.6-19. 46 ref.
Li L., Lamis F., Wilson S.E.
Whole-body vibration alters proprioception in the trunk
The effect of whole-body vibration on proprioception and dynamic stability was examined in subjects exposed to 20min of vertical, seated vibration relative to controls exposed to the same seated posture without vibration exposure. Subjects were found to have a 1.58-fold increase in position-sense errors after vibration. To understand the potential effect of a sensory loss on dynamic low back stability, a parametric model of the trunk and neuromotor response was developed and tested in a second experiment where subjects exhibited both an 11.9% increase in trunk flexion and an 11.2% increase in time to peak paraspinal muscle response. These findings suggest that after vibration exposure, manual handling could lead to injury. Reducing vibration exposure or a break between exposure and manual materials handling could be used to reduce this risk.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Sep.-Oct. 2008, Vol.38, No.9-10, p.792-800. Illus. 40 ref.
Xia T., Ankrum J.A., Spratt K.F., Wilder D.G.
Seated human response to simple and complex impacts: Paraspinal muscle activity
Prolonged exposure to seated impacts has been associated with low back disorders, although the underlying mechanism is not well understood. In this study, 12 healthy right-handed male subjects were exposed to low amplitude seated simple and complex impacts under two suspension conditions (enabled or disabled) and two sitting postures (supported or unsupported). Complex impacts consisted of two simple impacts applied in sequence with 100ms delay. Myoelectric activity of the left and the right erector spinae muscles were recorded during impacts. It was found that the muscle response timing was dictated by the direction of the first impact during complex impacts, while the peak muscle response amplitude varied in accordance with the second impact. The implications of these and other findings are discussed.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Sep.-Oct. 2008, Vol.38, No.9-10, p.767-774. Illus. 30 ref.
Mayton A.G., Kittusamy N.K., Ambrose D.H., Jobes C.C., Legault M.L.
Jarring/jolting exposure and musculoskeletal symptoms among farm equipment operators
Vehicle vibration exposure has been linked to chronic back pain and low-back symptoms among agricultural tractor drivers. The objectives of this study were to assess driver whole-body vibration (WBV) exposures and recommend interventions to reduce the risk of back-related injuries, particularly relative to vehicle jarring/jolting. Field data and health and work history were collected from equipment operators carrying out various tasks with different models of tractors. Ninety-six percent of participants reported having to bend or twist their necks, 24% reported neck symptoms and 64% reported back symptoms. Recommendations included: specifying a seat that better isolates operators from jars/jolts; maintaining the seat suspension; replacing worn or damaged cushions; using larger diameter tires; using a swivel seat to reduce the stress on the neck; improving efforts to educate operators of the adverse effects of WBV exposures.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Sep.-Oct. 2008, Vol.38, No.9-10, p.758-766. Illus. 38 ref.
Marmaras N., Nathanael D., Zarboutis N.
The transition from CRT to LCD monitors: Effects on monitor placement and possible consequences in viewing distance and body postures
This study investigates the effects of the transition from cathode ray tube (CRT) to liquid crystal displays (LCDs) with respect to viewing distance and workers' postures. The comparison between 148 workplaces equipped with CRT and 115 equipped with LCD monitors revealed that the latter are positioned closer to the rear side of desks, increasing the mean distance of the screen from the front edge of the desk by nearly 10cm. The above finding suggests that the mean effective viewing distance may have also increased by the same amount. The study also suggests that in LCD monitors, the increased viewing distance often exceeds the recommended angular height for comfortable reading while in a comfortable sitting posture. With the aid of a cybernetic model and the above empirical findings, an attempt is made to explain how the increase of the available effective space in front of the worker offered by LCD monitors may result in the adoption of adverse postures.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, July-Aug. 2008, Vol.38, No.7-8, p.584-592. Illus. 37 ref.
Messing K., Tissot F., Stock S.
Distal lower-extremity pain and work postures in the Quebec population
This study explored associations between standing postures and pain in the lower extremities using data concerning 7757 workers who had been interviewed in the 1998 Quebec Health and Social Survey. Among all respondents, 9.4% reported significant ankle or foot pain, and 6.4% had lower-leg or calf pain. Significantly more women than men had pain at both sites. Both leg or calf and ankle or foot pain were strongly associated with standing postures, whole-body vibration, psychological distress, female gender, and being aged 50 years or older. Constrained standing postures were associated with increased ankle or foot pain for both men and women and with leg or calf pain for women, compared with standing with freedom to sit at will. Freedom to sit at work may prevent lower-extremity pain.
American Journal of Public Health, Apr. 2008, Vol.98, No.4, p.705-713. 66 ref.
Pomian J.L., Grosmann J.L., Chabrier R., Lemperiere M., L'huillier J.C., Franckhauser Y., Zana J.P.
Prevention of risks due to static work postures
Prévention des risques liés aux positions de travail statiques [in French]
Even though close to a quarter of all employees complain about working while standing, prolonged sitting postures can also lead to musculoskeletal diseases to the upper extremities and the back, as well as circulatory disorders. This leaflet proposes leads for the prevention of risks from static work postures. It describes various types of existing seats, together with their scope of application.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, Jan. 2008. 6p. Illus. 12 ref. Price: EUR 1.00. Downloadable version free of charge.
http://www.inrs.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/inrs01_search_view/A478164B1B399940C12573F70054EF12/$File/ed131.pdf [in French]
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