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Office work - 1,210 entries found

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2007

CIS 08-691 Staubli B.
Nuisance caused by noise at workplaces
Belästigender Lärm am Arbeitsplatz [in German]
Nuisances sonores aux postes de travail [in French]
This booklet addresses the issue of the nuisance caused by noise in offices, which constitutes more of a discomfort than a risk of hearing damage. Contents: legal aspects (Swiss legislation, European directives including Directive 2003/10/EC (see CIS 06-253), standards); noise perception (how the human auditory system works); discomfort caused by noise; noise nuisance at the place of work; effects of noise (sleep disorders, effects on the vegetative system, social effects, verbal communication problems, poor productivity); coping with noise. An appendix lists acoustic dimensions and measuring units.
Suva, Gesundheitsschutz, Postfach, 6002 Luzern, Switzerland, 5th ed., 2006 (German ed.), 2007 (French ed.). 35p. Illus. 32 ref.
https://wwwsapp1.suva.ch/sap/public/bc/its/mimes/zwaswo/99/pdf/66058_d.pdf [in German]
https://wwwsapp1.suva.ch/sap/public/bc/its/mimes/zwaswo/99/pdf/66058_f.pdf [in French]

CIS 08-340 Jaakkola M.S., Yang L., Ieromnimon A., Jaakkola J.J.K.
Office work, SBS and respiratory sick building syndrome symptoms
The objective of this cross-sectional study was to assess the relationship between exposure to copy paper, paper dust and fumes from photocopiers and printers (FPP), and the occurrence of sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms, chronic respiratory symptoms and respiratory infections. Subjects consisted of a randomly-selected sample of 342 office workers in a region of Finland. They answered a questionnaire about personal information, health, smoking, occupation, and exposures in the work environment and at home. Data were subjected to logistic regression analyses. Findings are discussed. This study provides new evidence that exposure to paper dust and to FPP is related to the risk of SBS symptoms, breathlessness and upper respiratory infections. It strengthens the evidence that exposure to copy paper increases the risk of eye symptoms, general symptoms, chronic respiratory symptoms and some respiratory infections. Reduction of these exposures could improve the health of office workers.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2007, Vol.64, No.3, p.178-184. Illus. 27 ref.

CIS 08-15 Keeping fit at the office
En forme au bureau [in French]
Fit op kantoor [in Dutch]
Remaining seated all day facing a screen is not a restful activity. Being sedentary is detrimental to physical fitness and furthermore, a prolonged sitting posture favours the onset of muscular and articular pain, circulatory problems, headache and backache. This leaflet presents a few simple exercises that are within the reach of all. It also summarizes a few basic rules for working at screens: proper screen distance, proper seated posture, how to avoid glare, adjusting seats and frequent changes in posture.
Prevent, rue Gachard 88/4, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, [ca. 2007]. 4p. Illus.

CIS 07-1487 Shikdar A.A., Al-Kindi M.A.
Office ergonomics: Deficiencies in computer workstation design
The objective of this study was to identify the ergonomic deficiencies in computer workstation design in typical offices. Physical measurements and a questionnaire were used to study 40 workstations. Major ergonomic deficiencies were found in physical design and layout of the workstations, employee postures, work practices, and training, with significant consequences in terms of workers' health. Forty-five percent of the employees used nonadjustable chairs, 48% of computers faced windows, 90% of the employees used computers more than four hours per day, 45% adopted bent and unsupported back postures and 20% used office tables for computers. Major problems reported were eyestrain (58%), shoulder pain (45%), back pain (43%), arm pain (35%), wrist pain (30%) and neck pain (30%). Strategies to reduce or eliminate ergonomic deficiencies in computer workstation design are suggested.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2007, Vol.13, No.2, p.215-223. Illus. 21 ref.

CIS 07-1451 Kaczmarska A., Łuczak A.
A study of annoyance caused by low-frequency noise during mental work
This article presents the results of a study of annoyance caused by low-frequency noise (including infrasonic noise) that occurs at work stations located in offices. Sixty volunteers (30 men and 30 women) with normal hearing took part in an experimental study involving psychological tests under three acoustic exposure conditions in a laboratory simulated office work environment. Participants reported their subjective annoyance. Findings are discussed. Annoyance was rated higher among women and among persons with higher reactivity.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2007, Vol.13, No.2, p.117-125. Illus. 13 ref.

CIS 07-1171 Gryz K., Karpowicz J., Jankowska E.
Method of investigation and assessment of electromagnetic hazards in offices
Metoda badania i oceny zagrożeń elektromagnetycznych w pomieszczeniach biurowych [in Polish]
Typical electromagnetic field sources and characteristics of workers' exposure conditions are described and the principles of occupational and non-occupational exposure limitation established by Polish and European legislation are outlined. Requirements regarding electromagnetic field measurements in offices and the principles of interpreting such results are examined and situations justifying decisions not to perform electromagnetic field measurements in office buildings are analysed.
Bezpieczeństwo pracy, 2007, No.2, p.11-15. Illus. 15 ref.

2006

CIS 12-0335 Safe manual handling - Office
This leaflet on safe manual handling in offices addresses safe work postures and workloads, the use of lifting devices, housekeeping and load limitations for pregnant women.
Occupational Safety and Health Council, 19/F China United Centre, 28 Marble Road, North Point, Hong Kong, 2006. 5p. Illus.
Safe_manual_handling_Office_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]

CIS 08-1114 Çakir A., Çakir C.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Influence of optical surface properties of IT products on users - Summary
L'influence de propriétés superficielles optiques des produits de TI sur les utilisateurs - Résumé [in French]
The optical surface properties of IT products such as visual displays and keyboards can cause visual problems through gloss and specular reflections. For this reason, regulations on the lighting of VDT workplaces and on the design of IT products include certain provisions for gloss value and reflectance of surfaces visible to the user. A literature survey was carried out to highlight current knowledge concerning the impact of these optical surface properties of IT products on computer users. Research in the areas of computer animation and multimedia design suggests that the complex relationship of gloss and reflectance for the appearance of visual objects can be quantified. It is proposed that this finding be applied to future occupational safety and health regulations, including standards and legislation. This report consists of a summary in English and French of the findings of the detailed study.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 2006. 55p. Illus. 29 ref. Price: EUR 10.00.

CIS 08-801 Taylor R., Stacey N., Cummings R., Vallance S., Smyth V., Bellenger D.
Health and Safety Executive
Further development of an IIG/HSE e-learning health and safety risk education package for engineering undergraduates
This report describes work to develop a sample e-learning package to teach undergraduate engineers of all disciplines about the key concepts relating to health and safety risks. It is based on earlier work which resulted in the definition of outline proposals (see CIS 08-787). The approach has been designed to be modular and flexible so that users can adapt it to their specific needs, whilst being interesting and enjoyable in use. This report includes the selection of topics used in the sample and the process involved in developing it. The sample is in the form of a CD and contains introductory material, a simulation and related tutorial material developed for learning in a gaming context, together with several illustrative examples of other interactive tutorial material.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2006. vi, 41p. Illus. 5 ref.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr482.pdf [in English]

CIS 08-787 Taylor R., Bell D., Smyth V.
Health and Safety Executive
Development of an IIG/HSE e-learning health and safety risk education package for engineering undergraduates
This report describes work to develop outline proposals for an e-learning package to teach undergraduate engineers of all disciplines, key concepts relating to safety and health risks. The package consists of simulations, briefing material, exercises and assessments. The proposals have been presented to engineering institutions, universities and industrial companies. The approach has received broad support, with useful feedback for further phases of development.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2006. vi, 38p. Illus. 6 ref.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr452.pdf [in English]

CIS 07-1311 Ali K.M., Sathiyasekaran B.W.C.
Computer professionals and carpal tunnel syndrome (CST)
In this cross-sectional study of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), 648 subjects were selected among 4276 computer professionals from 21 companies, using a simple random sampling method. CTS was diagnosed based on clinical features. The prevalence of CTS was found to be 13.1%. The highest risks of CTS were found among subjects with over eight years of computer work, those working over 12 hrs per day and system administrators (odds ratios of 3.3, 4.9 and 2.5 respectively). Ergonomic considerations are important for ensuring the proper positioning of the hands while working with a computer. Other findings are discussed.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2006, Vol.12, No.3, p.319-325. 27 ref.

CIS 07-1323 Niemelä R., Seppänen O., Korhonen P., Reijula K.
Prevalence of building-related symptoms as an indicator of health and productivity
The prevalence of building-related symptoms (BRSs) is commonly used to characterize the indoor air quality in office buildings. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between BRSs and productivity. A first step consisted of identifying published studies that measured simultaneously the prevalence or intensity of BRS and subjectively reported or objectively measured productivity. In addition, two office environments were evaluated, namely a call centre and in an insurance office, in which productivity was assessed using several metrics. The review of 23 studies suggests that a linkage exists between typical BRS and productivity indicators such as work performance or absence from work. Quantitative associations between BRS and productivity were further confirmed in two evaluated office environments.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2006, Vol.49, No.10, p.819-825. 37 ref.

CIS 07-1008 Working with VDUs
This brochure explains how work with visual display units may affect workers' health. It summarises the law on VDU work, outlines what employers and employees should to do comply and suggests simple adjustments that users can make to workstations and screens to make them more comfortable and easy to use. Replaces CIS 98-529.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 6FS, United Kingdom, rev. ed. Dec. 2006. 14p. Illus. 2 ref.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg36.pdf [in English]

CIS 07-1106 Work with screens
Travail avec écran [in French]
Beeldschermwerk [in Dutch]
The objective of the SOBANE approach (screening, observation, analysis and evaluation) is to ensure occupational safety and health by means of a systematic analysis of occupational hazards. This booklet presents the SOBANE approach applied to working at screens. Following a review of general aspects of occupational safety and health management, it explains how to proceed with the observation, analysis and evaluation, together with the qualifications required for carrying out these steps. The following topics are summarized on information sheets: desks and workplace layout; seats; office accessories; software; computer equipment; work-time organization; training; health surveillance.
Service public fédéral Emploi, Travail et Concertation sociale, rue Ernest Blerot I, 1070 Bruxelles, Belgium, 2006. 93p. Illus. 59 ref.
http://www.werk.belgie.be/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=3832 [in Dutch]
http://www.emploi.belgique.be/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=3832 [in French]

CIS 07-1179 Bisseriex C., et al.
Electromagnetic fields - Visual display screens
Champs électromagnétiques - Les écrans de visualisation [in French]
Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) emit electromagnetic fields of very weak intensity and are themselves particularly vulnerable to fields from other emission sources, as may be observed by distortions or flicker of the display. They are giving way to flat screens, which emit less radiation and are less sensitive to external radiation. This information sheet outlines the principles of operation of CRT displays and flat screens and sets out the levels of electromagnetic radiation emitted, the interference caused by nearby electromagnetic fields and measures to improve screen performance.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, Sep. 2006. 4p. Illus. 5 ref. Price: EUR 1.50. Downloadable version free of charge.
http://www.inrs.fr/INRS-PUB/inrs01.nsf/inrs01_catalog_view_view/CC7DA2B69EE0CCD4C125721200322A56/$FILE/ed4208.pdf [in French]

CIS 07-920 Sandström M.
Electromagnetic fields in offices
This review article discusses the implications of the increased use of electric and electronic equipment in offices, including the increasingly complex nature of daily exposure to electromagnetic fields due to the wide variety of frequencies used. Focus has shifted from monitors as the dominating source of electromagnetic fields to other electronic equipment, cabling, nearby substations, power lines and stray currents in buildings. In the last five years, wireless communications based on devices using radio frequency waves have become common. To a certain degree, all these technologies add to the complicated issue of the wide range of frequencies found in offices. The exposure of office workers is generally considered to be low and not in conflict with the existing guidelines, but there are a number of measures that can be taken to reduce electromagnetic fields in offices as a precautionary measure.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2006, Vol.12, No.2, p.137-147. Illus. 21 ref.

CIS 07-749 Schmidt K.H., Neubach B.
Main and moderating effects of self-control demands and control deficits on indicators of job strain
Haupt- und Interaktionseffekte von Selbstkontrollanforderungen und Kontrolldefiziten auf Indikatoren der Arbeitsbeanspruchung [in German]
A survey of office workers was conducted to examine the relationships between job-related demands of self-control and indicators of job strain. The extent of job satisfaction and emotional exhaustion and depersonalization was determined among 630 employees of a municipal administration department in Germany. In addition, the tendency towards making mistakes (cognitive control deficits) was determined by questionnaire. Results showed a significant increase in emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and a significant decrease in job satisfaction with increasing job-related demands for self-control. The tendency towards cognitive control deficits rose significantly with increasing job-related demands for self-control.
Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft, 2006, Vol.60, No.1, p.37-46. Illus. Bibl.ref.

CIS 07-614 Fostervold K.I., Aarås A., Lie I.
Work with visual display units: Long-term health effects of high and downward line-of-sight in ordinary office environments
This study investigated the long-term effects of vertical monitor placement in office workplaces. Random assignment was used in creating a high line-of-sight (HLS) group and a downward line-of-sight (DLS) group, each including 75 subjects. The line-of-sight to the midpoint of the screen was 15° below horizontal for the HLS-group and 30° for the DLS-group. Measurements were taken at set-up and again 12 months later. Significant differences, favouring the DLS-group compared to HLS-group, were found for subjective symptoms, oculomotor capacity and self-reported sick leave. The DLS-group exhibited flexion of both the neck and back about 5° more than the HLS-group. However, no differences were found for diagnosed work-related disorders, clinical symptoms or electromyographic activity. The results correspond with previous laboratory findings and give additional empirical support from real work environments on the beneficial effects of DLS in visual display unit work.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Apr. 2006, Vol.36, No.4, p.331-343. Illus. 55 ref.

CIS 07-730 Beauvais A.
Office furniture and accessories - Seeking design characteristics that best ensure comfort and flexibility
Le mobilier de bureau et ses accessoires - A la recherche de caractéristiques de conception qui favorisent le confort et la polyvalence [in French]
This article addresses the topic of office furniture ergonomics. It takes into account the various tasks carried out most frequently in this work environment, namely working at screens simultaneously with reading or writing, handling documents of various sizes, using the phone, using calculators and interacting with colleagues or clients.
Travail et santé, Sep. 2006, Vol.22, No.3, p.22-27. Illus. 2 ref.

CIS 07-586 Marmot A.F., Eley J., Stafford M., Stansfeld S.A., Warwick E., Marmot M.G.
Building health: An epidemiological study of "sick building syndrome" in the Whitehall II study
Sick building syndrome (SBS) is described as a group of symptoms attributed to the physical environment of specific buildings. This study explores the relative roles of the physical and psychosocial work environment in explaining SBS. Cross-sectional data on the physical environment of a selection of buildings were added to an ongoing health survey of office-based civil servants in the United Kingdom. A self-report questionnaire was used to capture 10 symptoms of SBS and psychosocial work stress. In total, 4052 participants aged 42-62 years working in 44 buildings were included in this study. Findings are discussed. Only psychosocial work characteristics and control over the physical environment were independently associated with symptoms in the multivariate analysis. The physical environment of office buildings appears less important than the psychosocial work environment in explaining differences in the prevalence of SBS symptoms.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2006, Vol.63, No.4, p.283-289. Illus. 53 ref.

CIS 07-652 Nakadate T., Yamano Y., Adachi C., Kikuchi Y., Nishiwaki Y., Nohara M., Satoh T., Omae K.
A cross sectional study of the respiratory health of workers handling printing toner dust
The objective of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the association between the biological indices of lung fibrosis and toner dust exposure in an occupational cohort handling printing toner dust. A total of 600 male toner workers and 212 male control subjects were surveyed in terms of their subjective respiratory symptoms, pulmonary functions, chest radiography findings, occupational exposure history to toner dust and working conditions. Although subjects handling toner for more than 20 years tended to show a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms and chest X-ray abnormalities, there was no consistent relation between the exposure to toner dust and the biological responses of the respiratory system. Nonetheless, it is important to collect further epidemiological evidence on the biological effects of toner dust inhalation, preferably using a longitudinal study design.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2006, Vol.63, No.4, p.244-249. Illus. 12 ref.

CIS 07-481 Cail F., Aptel M.
Risk factors for upper extremities when working with screens: Literature review
Facteurs de risque pour le membre supérieur dans le travail sur écran: synthèse bibliographique [in French]
This literature survey reviews studies related to work with visual display units and associated risk factors for upper limb disorders. It firstly describes the analytical model and methods used and goes on to present data on work organization, stress, psychosocial factors, biomechanical demands and the spatial layout of the workplace. These data are then summarized and the occupational safety and health implications are discussed. Risk factors include: stress, psychosocial factors, static posture, certain joint positions (particularly at the wrist and shoulder), and the frequency and duration of demands.
Travail humain, July 2006, Vol. 69, No.3, p.229-268. Illus. 219 ref.

CIS 07-496 Leroux I., Brissson C., Montreuil S.
Job strain and neck-shoulder symptoms: A prevalence study of women and men white-collar workers
The objective of this cross sectional study of 1543 white-collar workers was to examine the association between psychosocial factors at work and the prevalence of neck and shoulder symptoms. Psychological demands and decision latitude at work were measured with Karasek's questionnaire. Workers exposed to high job strain had a higher prevalence of neck and shoulder symptoms (prevalence ratio (PR) 1.54). No effect of gender was observed in this association. The effect of job strain was stronger in workers with low social support (PR 1.84). These results suggest that primary prevention of neck and shoulder symptoms among white-collar workers should consider job strain, especially when workers have low social support at work.
Occupational Medicine, Mar. 2006, Vol.56, No.2, p.102-109. 37 ref.

CIS 06-1483 Delisle A., Larivière C., Plamondon A., Imbeau D.
Musculoskeletal disorders and computer work - The impact of workstation layout on posture and muscle load of the upper limbs
This study investigated whether the use of height-adjustable furniture providing support for forearms on the work surface would reduce muscle load while minimizing the impact on upper limb posture during computer work. Eighteen volunteers, alternately using the keyboard and the mouse, participated in the study. Data were collected by means of electromyography and kinematic recordings. It was found that the use of a forearm support may be beneficial for the neck-shoulder region at the expense of the wrist-forearm region. An interesting alternative could therefore be office furniture that allows mouse work with the forearm alternatively supported and unsupported. This would allow an alternation between the greatest solicitations of the forearm muscles and neck-shoulder muscles, offering intermittent rest periods.
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, 2006. v, 36p. Illus. 42 ref. Price: CAD 7.42. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-445.pdf [in English]

CIS 06-1443 Taylor A.
Vision on
The protection of the eyes and eyesight of persons working at visual display units (VDUs) is discussed with reference to the United Kingdom Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992 (see CIS 93-24), as amended in 2002 (see CIS 03-1011). These regulations place a responsibility on employers to attend to the eyecare of VDU users. In particular, they require employers to provide eye and eyesight tests on request for all VDU users. The article also summarizes the main steps that can be taken to prevent eyestrain, including temperature and humidity control, ergonomics, lighting and employee training.
Safety and Health Practitioner, Feb. 2006, Vol.24, No.2, p.56-58. Illus. 7 ref.

CIS 06-1209 Álvarez Valdivia A.
Visual display terminals: Technologies (II)
Pantallas de visualización: tecnologías (II) [in Spanish]
This information note examines the hazards associated with visual display terminals, focusing on the effects of the angle of vision, contrast, brilliance, colour, energy consumption of the screen and electromagnetic radiation. Tables compare the characteristics of cathode ray tubes, liquid crystal displays and plasma screens.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2006. 6p. Illus. 9 ref.
http://www.mtas.es//insht/ntp/ntp_694.htm [in Spanish]

2005

CIS 09-108 Beermann B., Henke N., Brenscheidt F., Windel A.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Well-being in the office - Health and safety at work in the office
In contrast to popular opinion, office work is not stress free. Office work can result in headaches, back disorders, inflammation of the wrist, eye complaints and mental illnesses. This booklet outlines ways to implement office workplace health promotion measures. In chapters on subjects such as mixed work, sitting postures and working with computers, it describes the risks and stressors in office work and offers practical solutions. Checklists allow readers to conduct an initial assessment of their own working environment. It includes references to regulations as well as further in-depth literature.
Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Postfach 17 02 02, 44061 Dortmund, Germany, 2nd ed., 2005. 36p. Illus. 4 ref.
http://www.baua.de/nn_21604/de/Publikationen/Broschueren/A10,xv=vt.pdf [in English]

CIS 07-974 Code of practice for office ergonomics
This standard provides guidelines on the design and improvement of workplaces to make them safer, more comfortable and more productive. It covers the fundamentals of office ergonomics including physical, environmental and psychosocial elements. It includes a checklist for use in a preliminary ergonomics audit aimed at identifying potential problems and areas for further design improvements.
SNP Corporation Ltd, 1 Kim Seng Promenade, #18-01, Great World City East Tower, Singapore 237994, Republic of Singapore, 2005. 31p. Illus. Price: SGD 27.00 (excluding GST).

CIS 07-687 Staubli B.
Noise in computer-equipped office workplaces: new evaluation criteria
Le bruit aux postes de travail informatisés: nouveaux critères d'appréciation [in French]
This article discusses unpleasant noise in office environments. Unlike noise in industrial settings which can cause hearing loss, unpleasant noise influences the capacity to communicate, hinders the ability to concentrate and adversely impacts reaction times. Several methods aimed at lowering noise levels in offices, and in particular in open-plan offices, are proposed.
Communications de la CFST, Dec. 2005, No. 60, p.11-12. Illus.
http://www.ekas.ch/communication-fr.php?download=911&1166195952 [in French]

CIS 07-480 Shuval K., Donchin M.
Prevalence of upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms and ergonomic risk factors at a hi-tech company in Israel
This cross-sectional study examines the relationship between ergonomic risk factors and upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms (UEMSS) in VDT workers at a software development company, while taking into account individual and organizational factors and stress. The study population of 84 workers comprised computer programmers, managers, administrators, and marketing specialists. Data on UEMSS, individual and organizational factors and stress were derived from a questionnaire, while ergonomic data were collected through two direct observations using the rapid upper limb assessment (RULA) method. Results underline the need for implementing an intervention program focusing on arm/wrist posture, and for taking into account the special needs of women and of workers working 10h a day, those working 7-9h a day with a VDT and employees experiencing discomfort at workstations.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, June 2005, Vol.35, No.6, p.569-581. Illus. 42 ref.

CIS 06-984 Cail F., Aptel M.
Upper extremity musculoskeletal diseases - Risk factors in computer assisted design (CAD) and data entry
Troubles musculosquelettiques du membre supérieur - Facteurs de risque en conception assistée par ordinateur (CAO) et en saisie [in French]
This article describes the results of a study on risk factors for upper extremity musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs) in two types of computer work, namely computer-assisted design (CAD) and data entry. The study involved 30 male CAD workers and 26 female data entry workers. Data were collected by ergonomic analysis of activities, a questionnaire survey of symptoms, stress and psychosocial factors and biomechanical measurements. The level of complaints concerning MSDs was similar in both groups; there were more complaints for the right upper extremity than for the left. Complaints were related to anxiety in both groups and to time pressures in the CAD group. Results indicate the importance of the work context in workers' perception of their state of health.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 3rd Quarter 2005, No.104, p.485-491. Illus. 26 ref.
http://www.dmt-prevention.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/TF%20145/$File/TF145.pdf [in French]

CIS 06-875 Cail F., Aptel M.
Visual display units - Health and ergonomics
Ecrans de visualisation - Santé et ergonomie [in French]
This guide reviews the information and methods needed to implement legislative requirements for work at screens. Part 1 examines the health effects of work at screens (visual fatigue, stress and musculoskeletal diseases). Part 2 provides guidance on preventive measures (characteristics of screen displays, workspace design, the physical environment and work organization).
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, June 2005. 104p. Illus. 18 ref. Price: EUR 8.00. Downloadable version free of charge.
http://www.inrs.fr/INRS-PUB/inrs01.nsf/inrs01_search_view_view/4CF47B81F1C8EAB8C1257060002991A5/$FILE/ed924.pdf [in French]

CIS 06-731 Babski-Reeves K., Stanfield J., Hughes L.
Assessment of video display workstation set up on risk factors associated with the development of low back and neck discomfort
This study investigated the effect of monitor height and chair type on low back and neck muscle activity, perceived level of discomfort and posture shifts among visual display terminal operators. The ergonomic benefits of chairs in different price ranges were also examined. The findings indicate that the interaction of monitor height and chair type significantly affects musculoskeletal loads. Task demands also play an important role in the loads, posture fixity and level of discomfort reported. Therefore, the location of visual display equipment and chair selection should be based on task demands. In general, no significant differences were identified between high and low cost chairs, again supporting the recommendation that chair selection be based on task demands.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, July 2005, Vol.35, No.7, p.593-604. Illus. 33 ref.

CIS 06-729 Nicholas R.A., Feurerstein M., Suchday S.
Workstyle and upper-extremity symptoms: A biobehavioral perspective
The concept of workstyle has been proposed to help explain the link between ergonomic and psychosocial factors in work-related upper-extremity symptoms. This study investigated ergonomic factors, work demands, job stress, and workstyle on pain and functional limitations in computer users. 169 participants completed self-report ratings of job stress, ergonomic exposures, and workstyle at baseline. Three months later, ratings of pain and functional limitations were obtained. Multivariable logistic regression indicated that ergonomic exposure (odds ratio (OR)=2.7), time spent at a computer (OR=1.9) and higher scores on a workstyle measure (OR=2.4) were independently associated with case status. The study suggests that the workstyle model may be useful in the management of work-related upper-extremity disorders.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2005, Vol.47, No.4, p.352-361. Illus. 39 ref.

CIS 06-728 Ménard P., Béchard D.
Active micropauses: An efficient preventive measure!
Les micropauses actives: une prévention efficace! [in French]
Micropauses consist of short periods of rest following a certain time or amount worked. Active micropauses involve moving or stretching during micropauses. The main beneficial effect of active micropauses is the reduced risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders or discomfort. The length of a micropause should be at least 20 to 30 seconds, and micropauses should be taken every 20 to 30 minutes. They need to be suited to the specifics of the tasks and the individuals. For visually-demanding tasks, ocular micropauses that involve focusing on a distant point for 30 seconds at regular intervals are advised. The article summarizes the findings of a study confirming the beneficial effects of a software application that encourages users of computers to follow micropauses.
Travail et santé, Sep. 2005, Vol.21, No.3, p.47-48. Illus. 5 ref.

CIS 06-483 Lindegård A., Karlberg C., Tornqvist E.W., Toomingas A., Hagberg M.
Concordance between VDU-users' ratings of comfort and perceived exertion with experts' observations of workplace layout and working postures
The aim of this study was to evaluate agreement between VDU-users' ratings of comfort and perceived exertion with ergonomists' observations of workplace layout, exertion and postures. The study population consisted of 853 symptom-free subjects. Data on perceived comfort and exertion were collected by questionnaire. Data concerning workplace layout and working postures were collected during observations by an ergonomist. Concordance between subjective ratings and job observations were reasonably good. Ratings of comfort and perceived exertion could therefore be used as a cost-efficient and user-friendly method for practitioners to identify exposures to poor workplace layout and poor working postures.
Applied Ergonomics, May 2005, Vol.36, No.3, p.319-325. 35 ref.

CIS 06-332 Zakrzewska-Szczepańska K.
OSH in the Office
Bhp w biurze [in Polish]
The rights and obligations of employees concerning occupational safety and health rules in the office are described. Enquiries from office employees to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labour are listed with the replies and explanations of specialists from the Department for Working Conditions.
Służba Pracownicza, 2005, No.3, p.33-34.

CIS 06-312 Wolkoff P., Nøjgaard J.K., Troiano P., Piccoli B.
Eye complaints in the office environment: Precorneal tear film integrity influenced by eye blinking efficiency
Based on a literature review, it is concluded that eye complaints due to precorneal tear film (PTF) alteration may be caused by thermal factors (low relative humidity, high room temperature), demanding task content (attention decreases blinking and widens the exposed ocular surface area) and individual characteristics (blinking anomalies, gland dysfunctions, use of contact lenses). These factors and conditions are able to progressively increase water evaporation and faster thinning of the PTF, which causes dryness and dry spot formation on the cornea, possibly followed by corneal and conjunctiva epithelial alterations and eye complaints. Another possible cause of eye complaints is the presence of certain irritating chemical compounds.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2005, Vol.62, No.1, p.4-12. Illus. 152 ref.

CIS 05-475 Miled S., Hajaij K., Fehri S., Hidri A., Nouaigui H., Ben Laïba M.
Work at screens: Ergonomic recommendations to be given priority
Le travail sur écran: priorité aux recommandations ergonomiques [in French]
Contents of this special feature on ergonomic recommendations applicable to work at screens: demands of work at screens; effects on health; risk factors; ergonomic design of workstations involving work at screens; ergonomic layout of ambient lighting; modes of work organization; work aptitude of persons working at screens.
SST - Santé et Sécurité au Travail, Feb. 2005, No.32, p.2-14. Illus. 12 ref.

2004

CIS 08-271 Improved well-being when working at your screen
Mieux vivre avec votre écran [in French]
Working at screens under poor conditions can entail visual fatigue, musculoskeletal diseases and stress. Contents of this leaflet aimed at helping operators make better use of their workstation: adjusting the screen; adjusting lighting; working in a relaxed manner; main factors responsible for health hazards related to working at screens; eyesight protection.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, Mar. 2004. 8p. Illus. Price: EUR 1.50. Downloadable version free of charge.
http://www.inrs.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/inrs01_search_view/0A9298BA3163AB24C1256E920056269B/$File/ed922.pdf [in French]

CIS 07-963 Overgaard E., Brandt L.P.A., Ellemann K., Mikkelsen S., Andersen J.H.
Tingling/numbness in the hands of computer users: Neurophysiological findings from the NUDATA study
The NUDATA (neck and upper extremity disorders among technical assistants) study is a one-year prospective cohort study of musculoskeletal disorders among computer users in Denmark. Within the NUDATA study, an investigation was carried out to determine whether tingling/numbness of the hands was associated with elevated vibration threshold as a sign of early nerve compression. Vibratory sensory testing with monitoring of the digital vibration detection threshold was performed on 20 cases with unilateral tingling and numbness in the hands and fingers, and 20 gender- and age-matched controls. The two groups had a similar amount of work with mouse and keyboard. The results show that tingling and numbness of the hands and fingers among computer users cannot be explained by nerve compression.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Oct. 2004, Vol.77, No.7, p.521-525. 22 ref.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/1emu33p6dwenvfhr/fulltext.pdf [in English]

CIS 07-965 Ketola R., Toivonen R., Luukkonen R., Takala E.P., Viikari-Juntura E.
Expert assessment of physical ergonomics at video-display unit workstations: Repeatability, validity and responsiveness to changes
This study investigated inter-observer repeatability, validity and sensitivity to change for an expert assessment method for video-display unit (VDU) workstation ergonomics. Technical measurements and video-recordings before and two months after an ergonomic intervention were made for 109 VDU office workstations. Two experts analysed and rated the ergonomics of the workstations. Tidiness and available space were analysed and work chairs were classified according to their ergonomic properties. Findings are discussed. Overall, assessments were consistent, confirming that the assessment method studied can be utilized by an expert in a repeatable manner both in cross-sectional and in longitudinal settings.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Aug. 2004, Vol.77, No.6, p.437-442. 17 ref.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/6uvnarcfegrrg678/fulltext.pdf [in English]

CIS 07-145 Gude D.
Prospective ergonomics in occupational health protection - Potential offered by virtual reality
Prospektive Ergonomie beim Gesundheitsschutz am Arbeitsplatz - Unterstützungspotential virtuelles Realität [in German]
In occupational safety and health practice, corrective ergonomics has an important role to play because of its ability to rectify deficiencies in the design of work systems. However, this approach is costly. For this reason, prospective ergonomics is increasingly used in product design. To allow the visualisation of products in a form close to their final form, virtual reality techniques are used. This article presents the application of this approach to the field of occupational safety and health, and describes a laboratory experiment in which subjects were asked to analyse the ergonomic deficiencies of a workstation involving work on a screen, presented in virtual form. The findings are discussed and compared to those of an analysis based on a real workstation. No differences in the quality of the evaluations were found between the two methods; however, virtual reality offers significant cost advantages.
Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, Sep. 2004, Vol.54, No.9, p.326-334. Illus. 15 ref.

CIS 06-1113 Khalfallah T., Derouiche S., Abdallah B., Chaari N., Hanchi M.A., Akrout M.
Sick building syndrome in the banking sector in Tunis
Syndrome des bâtiments malsains dans le secteur bancaire de Tunis [in French]
This cross-sectional study investigated the prevalence of sick building syndrome among 286 persons (182 men and 104 women) employed in 20 branches of one of Tunisia's leading banks. Data on personal characteristics and perceived symptoms were collected by means of self-administered questionnaires. The main symptoms reported were headache (34.6% of subjects), chest tightness (23.4%), flu-like syndrome (16.4%) and eye irritation (15.0%). Other findings are discussed. The study establishes a link between these symptoms and sick building syndrome based on findings reported in other countries.
Bossons futé, 17 avenue Miss Cavell, 94100 Saint-Maur, France, 2004. Internet document (PDF format). 24p. Illus. 58 ref.
http://www.bossons-fute.com/Enquetes/sickbbuildingsyndrome.pdf [in French]

CIS 06-347 Godhinho F., Santos C., Coutinho A.F., Trigueiros P.
Manual - No barriers to information technologies at the workplace
Manual - Technologias de informação sem barreiras no local de trabalho [in Portuguese]
This document provides information on the availability of software that can facilitate the computer-related work of handicapped persons. It describes the display options that can be selected for the control panel of the operating system (increasing the size of the display, controlling the mouse using the keyboard, integrating the keyboard on a touch screen, etc.) as well as various auxiliary tools for improving work posture or equipment access. It includes lists of relevant legislation and websites providing useful information. A CD-ROM version of the manual is included.
Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Duro (UTAD), Portugal, 2nd ed., Aug. 2004. 188p. Illus. 24 ref. + CD-ROM.

CIS 06-28 Reijula K., Sundman-Digert C.
Assessment of indoor air problems at work with a questionnaire
Office workers' complaints and symptoms related to the indoor environment were collected from 122 workplaces in 1996-99 by means of a questionnaire. Altogether 11,154 employees took part in the survey. The most common problems were dry air (35% of the respondents), stuffy air (34%), dust or dirt in the indoor environment (25%) and draught (22%). The most common work related symptoms were irritated, stuffy, or runny nose (20%), itching, burning, or irritation of the eyes (17%) and fatigue (16%). Women reported indoor air problems and work related symptoms more often than men. Allergic persons and smokers reported indoor air problems more often and experienced work-related symptoms more often than non-allergic persons and non-smokers.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2004, Vol.61, No.1, p.33-38. Illus. 20 ref.

CIS 06-231 Rocha L.E., Debert-Ribeiro M.
Working conditions, visual fatigue, and mental health among systems analysts in Saõ Paulo, Brazil
To evaluate the association between working conditions, visual fatigue and mental health among systems analysts in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a cross sectional study was carried out by a multidisciplinary team. It included ergonomic analysis of work, individual and group interviews and 553 self-administered questionnaires in two enterprises. The comparison population consisted of 136 workers employed in various other occupations. Among subjects, visual fatigue was associated with mental workload, inadequate equipment and workstation, low level of worker participation, being a woman and the subject's attitude to computer work. Mental health was associated with mental workload and with inadequate equipment, work environment and tools. Continuing education and leisure activities were protective factors.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2004, Vol.61, No.1, p.24-32. 35 ref.

CIS 05-239 Cail F.
50 questions on working at screens
Le travail sur écran en 50 questions [in French]
This practical guide includes 50 frequently-asked questions by operators working at visual display screens. For each question, it proposes one or several solutions and wherever possible, provides a ranking of the ergonomic quality of the proposed solutions. Questions are grouped under the following headings: layout; display; work organization. Replaces CIS 94-501.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, July 2004. 27p. Illus. Index. Price: EUR 5.10. Downloadable version free of charge.
http://www.inrs.fr/INRS-PUB/inrs01.nsf/inrs01_search_view_view/F2A3325063AEA1E3C1256F09003F22E8/$FILE/ed923.pdf [in French]

CIS 05-151 Polspoel N., Lamotte J.M.
Visual display units
Ecrans de visualisation [in French]
Based on the European Directive 90/270/EEC (see CIS 90-1069), the Royal Decree of 12 August 1993 on visual display units specifies many additional responsibilities for enterprises. Designed to help enterprises implement these new requirements, this guide covers legislation, the main hazards and the design of a workstation equipped with a visual display unit. Reference values and corresponding standards are included in an appendix.
PREVENT, rue Gachard 88, Bte 4, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, 2004. 24p. Illus.13 ref.

CIS 04-476 Iwakiri K., Mori I., Sotoyama M., Horiguchi K., Ochiai T., Jonai H., Saito S.
Development of action checkpoints for comfortable computer work
A manual and a checklist for undertaking measures to prevent fatigue in visual display terminals (VDT) workers are presented. Problems related to VDT work can be recognized by using the checklist which allows self-evaluation by the workers. The manual helps the workers to consider measures for improvement by themselves.
Industrial Health, Apr. 2004, Vol.42, No.2, p.292-301. Illus. 5 ref.

CIS 04-239 Office ergonomics
Many persons spend a significant amount of time in front of computers in offices. Computer workstations should be ergonomically designed taking into consideration the physical size, capabilities and limitations of workers. This information sheet provides guidance on work posture to be adopted when working with computers and on ergonomics of computer workstations.
Occupational Health Department, Ministry of Manpower, 18 Havelock Road, #05-01, Singapore 059764, Republic of Singapore, [c2004]. 3p. Illus.
http://www.mom.gov.sg/MOM/OHD/Publications/2490_ergofact.pdf [in English]

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