Office work - 1,210 entries found
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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]
Guidelines on occupational safety and health for working with video display units (vdu's)
Guidelines on the ergonomic and other aspects of VDU use in the workplace.
Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Ministry of Human Resources, Aras 2, 3 dan 4, Blok D3, Parcel D, Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, 62502 Putrajaya, Malaysia, 2003. v, 26p. Illus. 10 ref.
http://dosh.mohr.gov.my/koperat/G-PANDUAN%20PDF/GUIDE-VDU%206-03%20(I).pdf [in English]
Salah Ibrahim K., Bechir Ahmed S.
Stress markers of health status of bank employees
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of chronic professional stress on the cellular humoral and immune systems in bank employees. On the basis of a job stress questionnaire, 100 male subjects were selected according to high or low scores of professional stress. Blood samples were taken to count white cells, CD4 and CD8 marked lymphocytes and natural killer cells and to determine the concentration of immunoglobulins (A, M and G), cortisol, C-reactive protein (CRP), and neoptrin. Chronic professional stress appeared to be associated with immune dysfunction including signs of immune activation (increased serum concentrations of IgG and IgA) and immune suppression (decreased number of CD4+ and CD8+ cells). The shifts were more pronounced in the group with higher job stress. Serum cortisol, CRP and neoptrin showed no significant differences between the groups. It is supposed that in the presence of chronic stress, distinct psychological mechanisms are associated with specific immune dysfunctions.
Central European Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2003, Vol.9, No.1, p.23-32. 46 ref.
Snow D.L., Swan S.C., Raghavan C., Connell C.M., Klein I.
The relationship of work stressors, coping and social support to psychological symptoms among female secretarial employees
This article describes a conceptual framework based on the assumption that psychological symptoms are influenced by the interaction of individual and situational risk and protective factors over time. This framework was used to examine the impact of work stressors, coping, and work-related social support on psychological symptoms among 239 female secretarial employees in the USA, using both cross-sectional and longitudinal models. Work stressors and avoidance coping were viewed as risk factors, and active coping and social support as protective factors. In both models, work stressors and avoidance coping contributed substantially to increased symptoms while active coping was related to fewer psychological symptoms. Work-related social support served an indirect protective function by contributing to lower levels of reported work stressors and greater use of active coping. Work stressors also mediated the relationship between social support and symptoms.
Work and Stress, July-Sep. 2003, Vol.17, No.3, p.241-263. Illus. 88 ref.
Development of neck and hand-wrist symptoms in relation to duration of computer use at work
At the beginning of 1999, 3475 computer users responded to a questionnaire on musculoskeletal symptoms, among whom 2576 also responded to a second questionnaire in December 2000. It was found that previous symptoms among both men and women, low influence at work and high-placed computer screen among women, and short time in the job and good computer skills among men were associated with neck symptoms. Hand-wrist symptoms were associated with previous symptoms and low influence at work for both men and women, and sensorimotor demands for women. The duration of computer use predicted hand-wrist symptoms, but not neck symptoms. For workers using computers almost continually, hand-wrist symptoms were associated with mouse use for at least half of the working time (odds ratio (OR) 4.0) and not using the mouse at all (OR 4.0), as compared with mouse use for one-fourth of the working time. Limiting computer use to less than three-fourths of the working time would help to prevent hand-wrist symptoms.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, June 2003, Vol.29, No.3, p.197-205. 18 ref.
Effectiveness of a new back belt in the maintenance of lumbar lordosis while sitting: A pilot study
With the expanding use of video display terminals, a high incidence of low back pain is reported among operators working at screens in sitting postures. This study describes a new design of back belt for use by operators working at screens in seated postures and compares the conditions of wearing this belt with those of no belt wearing. Nine subjects performed a data entry task while sitting at a desk during 60-min periods, during which the trunk and lumbosacral angles were observed. Results showed that there were significant differences in trunk angle and lumbar posture when wearing or not wearing the belt (with an average difference of -14.1° in lumbar lordosis and 16.9° in trunk angle) during the final 10-min stage of the task. The belt seemed to provide support for the back by the counter-supporting force from the knees. The results suggest that the belt may be useful in seated tasks because of its maintenance of lumbar lordosis and erect trunk.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Oct. 2003, Vol.32, No.4, p.299-303. Illus. 10 ref.
Korhonen T., Ketola R., Toivonen R., Luukkonen R., Häkkänen M., Viikari-Juntura E.
Work related and individual predictors for incident neck pain among office employees working with video display units
To investigate work-related and individual factors as predictors for neck pain among office employees working with video display units, 515 persons employed in the municipal administration of a medium-sized city in Finland received mailed questionnaires in 1998 and in 1999. Response rate for the first questionnaire was 81%. The follow-up questionnaire was completed by 78%. Neck pain for at least eight days during the preceding 12 months was reported by 34.4% of the participants. It was found that a poor physical work environment and poor placement of the keyboard increased the risk of neck pain. Among the individual factors, female sex and smoking were important predictors of neck pain risk. There was also a relationship between mental stress and physical exercise, persons with higher mental stress and less physical exercise being at a particularly high risk.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2003, Vol.60, No.7, p.475-482. 55 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
The law on VDUs - An easy guide
This booklet provides guidance on the British Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (see CIS 93-24). Contents: health problems associated with work at visual display units; identifying the workers and the workstations covered; training users and assessors; assessing workstations and reducing risks; making sure new workstations comply with the minimum requirements; planning breaks and activity changes; arranging eye and eyesight tests; keeping users informed. A checklist is included. Replaces CIS 94-1967.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2nd ed. Feb. 2003. vi, 28p. Illus. 5 ref. Price: GBP 8.50.
Delisle A., Larivière C., Plamondon A., Imbeau D.
Musculoskeletal disorders and office work: Impact of office furniture on the posture and muscular strain of the upper extremities
Troubles musculo-squelettiques et bureautique: impact du mobilier de bureau sur la posture et la sollicitation musculaire du membre supérieur [in French]
The objective of the present study was to establish whether the use of height-adjustable office desks offering the possibility of resting the forearms may lead to a reduction in muscular strain. A total of 18 subjects carried out a 20min task at a computer, requiring alternating between the use of the keyboard and the mouse, on three different types of desk. Surface electromyography of the trapezium, anterior deltoid and finger extender muscles, together with three-dimensional kinematics of the preferred upper extremity and the head were used to compare the furniture types. The best results were obtained with the height-adjustable desk offering the possibility of resting the forearms.
Institut de recherche en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 3C2, Canada, Feb. 2003. v, 34p. Illus. 42 ref. CD-ROM containing the PDF version of the document is included (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/htmfr/pdf_txt/R-325.pdf [in French]
Fagarasanu M., Kumar S.
Carpal tunnel syndrome due to keyboarding and mouse tasks: A review
A literature review enabled the highlighting carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) risk factors in data-entry tasks. A comparison of several keyboards with respect to design of key depression forces and their effect on carpal tunnel pressure was provided. The factors implicated in the occurrence of CTS due to computer work were reviewed. Many so-called ergonomic keyboards change the musculoskeletal region exposed to risk, instead of eliminating hazardous postures. The ergonomic assessment of new devices should precede their introduction and not follow it. Future research should be directed to better understanding of factors to be eliminated or modified, to assess the impact of workstation redesign and to uncover the interrelationships between different factors that contribute to the development of CTS.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Feb. 2003, Vol.31, No.2, p.119-136. 85 ref.
Nevala-Puranen N., Pakarinen K., Louhevaara V.
Ergonomic intervention on neck, shoulder and arm symptoms of newspaper employees in work with visual display units
Shoulder and arm symptoms are typical in work with visual display units (VDUs) among newspaper employees. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of various ergonomic intervention models on neck, shoulder and arm symptoms among these exposed workers. In total, 20 newspaper employees participated in the study. Work posture, modes of monitor viewing, muscular activity, and subjective assessments of musculoskeletal pain were recorded before and after the seven-month intervention. Difference was statistically significant between the groups for the change in shoulder flexion and the muscular activity of right trapezius and right extensor carpi radials in the pre- and post-intervention measurements. The reduction of pain symptoms in the neck, shoulders and elbows was greater in the group where redesign measures involved both the work environment and work techniques than in the group where they involved only the environment.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Jan. 2003, Vol.31, No.1, p.1-10. Illus. 33 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Automatic data capture opportunities for health and safety in industry
The aim of this project was to raise industry awareness of automatic data capture (ADC) technologies for health and safety, survey problem areas in several industry sectors, identify what technology is currently used or available, identify opportunities and encourage feedback. The research was conducted through telephone interviews, site visits, presentations and use of the Internet and email. The research project concluded with a seminar. The main finding is that ADC is particularly suited to the areas of access control, transport, maintenance and worker exposure monitoring.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2003. iv, 35p. Price: GBP 10.00.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr080.pdf [in English]
Health and Safety Executive
Work with display screen equipment - Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 as amended by the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002 - Guidance on Regulations
This booklet provides guidance on the Health and Safety (Display Screen) Regulations 1992 (CIS 93-24), which came into force on 1 January 1993, and which implement Directive 90/270/EEC of 29 May 1990 (CIS 90-1069). Contents: type of equipment and categories of workers covered by the Regulations; analysis of workstations to assess and reduce risks associated with postural and visual problems, fatigue and stress; requirements for workstations (equipment, environment, interface between computer and user); daily work routine of users; eyes and eyesight (eyesight and vision screening tests and provision of corrective appliances); provision of training; provision of information; exemption certificates. Appendices include guidance on workstation minimum requirements; possible health effects of display screen equipment, guidance to reduce risks with portable display screen equipment, mouse, trackball and other pointing device and a checklist for VDU workstation risk assessment. Replaces CIS 01-484.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2nd ed., Feb. 2003. iv, 72p. Illus. 35 ref. Price: GBP 8.95.
Beermann B., Henke N., Brenscheidt F., Windel A.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Well-being in the office! - Occupational safety and health in office work
Wohlbefinden im Büro! - Arbeits- und Gesundheitsschutz bei der Büroarbeit [in German]
This booklet provides guidance and proposes basic rules for improving well-being during office work. Details of current regulations are provided, together with a short list of suggested further reading. Topics covered include: work organization (varied work, group work, shift work); sitting posture and ergonomics; lighting (lighting intensity, reflections, visual fatigue); conditions conducive to concentration (noise levels, thermal environment, sick building syndrome); work at screens; advantages of having green plants in the office.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 2002. 30p. Illus. 19 ref.
http://www.bmwa.bund.de/Inqa/Redaktion/Service/Downloads/wohlbefinden-im-buero-pdf,property=pdf.pdf [in German]
Ketola R., Toivonen R., Häkkänen M., Luukkonen R., Takala E.P., Viikari-Juntura E.
Effects of ergonomic intervention in work with video display units
This study evaluated the effect of an intensive ergonomic approach and education on workstation changes and musculoskeletal disorders among workers who used a video display unit (VDU). The 124 subjects were allocated into three groups (intensive ergonomics, ergonomic education, reference) using stratified random sampling. The evaluation involved questionnaires, a diary of discomfort, measurements of workload and an ergonomic rating of the workstations. The intensive and training groups showed less musculoskeletal discomfort than the reference group after two months of follow-up. Positive effects were seen primarily for the shoulder, neck and upper back areas. Both the intensive ergonomics approach and education in ergonomics help reduce discomfort in VDU work. In attempts to improve the physical ergonomics of VDU workstations, the best result will be achieved with cooperative planning in which both workers and practitioners are actively involved.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Feb. 2002, Vol.28, No.1, p.18-24. Illus. 22 ref.
Laursen B., Jensen B.R., Garde A.H., Jørgensen A.H.
Effect of mental and physical demands on muscular activity during the use of a computer mouse and a keyboard
Twelve female subjects performed a computer task with four combinations of two types of input device (mouse and keyboard) and two levels of mental demand (with and without a Stroop colour word test). The time available for response was limited. Performance and electromyography (EMG) were recorded for the forearm, shoulder and neck muscles. All the muscles for which recordings were made showed increased muscular activity in the mentally demanding condition. The increase in the static muscular activity level varied from 0.3% of the maximum EMG for the right trapezius muscle to 2.6% for the extensor carpi ulnaris muscle. In conclusion, mental demands during computer work increased muscular activity in all of the recorded muscles. Increased muscular activity was found in the neck during the use of the mouse in comparison with the use of the keyboard. This phenomenon may be related to higher visual demands during the use of a mouse than with a keyboard. These findings may help explain the adverse effects of psychosocial work factors on the musculoskeletal system.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Aug. 2002, Vol.28, No.4, p.215-221. Illus. 26 ref.
Nakazawa T., Okubo Y., Suwazono Y., Kobayashi E., Komine S., Kato N., Nogawa K.
Association between duration of daily VDT use and subjective symptoms
Although visual display unit (VDU) work has become a common task among office workers, surveys which would help to determine the allowable duration of daily VDU use are limited. In this study, more than 25,000 workers were investigated three times over a three-year period using a self-administered questionnaire. Physical symptoms score increased with increasing duration of daily VDU use without a threshold effect. Mental and sleep-related symptom scores of the workers using VDUs for more than five hours per day were significantly higher than those of the groups using VDUs for shorter periods. In this case, the relationship was non-linear with a threshold effect at five hours per day.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Nov. 2002, Vol.42, No.5, p.421-426. 25 ref.
Schierz C., Krueger H.
Advantages and disadvantages of intensive lighting for office work
Vor- und Nachteile intensiver Beleuchtung am Büroarbeitsplatz [in German]
It has been shown that lighting has an effect on the human body. During office work, lighting can have both positive and negative effects. This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of intensive lighting with respect to visual performance, stimulation and workers' well-being. An increase in lighting intensity is advisable for certain complex visual tasks as well as for older workers. However, workplace problems often have several causes; consequently, lighting optimization should not preclude employers from carrying out a full ergonomic analysis of the workstation.
Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft, 2002, Special issue, p.269-274. Illus.
Ferreira Y., Helbig R.
Seated at the office - Constraint or pleasure?
Sitzen im Büro - Last oder Lust? [in German]
In the course of their working life, office workers spend approximately 70,000 hours sitting at their desks. This fact alone justifies taking a closer interest in their sitting posture. After an initial brief outline of the risk factors due to sitting postures and the constraints that they imply for the spinal column, this article goes on to describe the characteristics of an ergonomic office chair. It also discusses the advantages of height-adjustable desks that enable certain tasks to be carried out while standing so as to vary the work postures. A check list allows readers to verify whether their office chair is suitable for them and whether their work postures are correct.
Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft, 2002, Special issue, p.224-233. Illus. 19 ref.
Kurtz P., Sievers G.
Work demands and the office of the future
Die Belastungen zukünftiger Büroarbeit [in German]
Office automation and new ways of working are aimed at improving work performance; however, they can also cause the appearance of various symptoms, in particular headache, fatigue and exhaustion, as a result of the cumulative effect of several environmental and organizational factors. The main constraints of office work, whether physical (sitting posture, work at screens, use of laptop computers) or mental (concentration, attention, performance, coping with stress and motivation) are discussed, and practical guidance is provided for reducing or avoiding these constraints and improving work organization and ergonomics.
Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft, 2002, Special issue, p.191-196. Illus. 3 ref.
Safety and health in the office
Sécurité et santé au bureau [in French]
Veilig en gezond op kantoor [in Dutch]
Booklet on occupational safety and health in office environments. Topics covered: work at screens; office furniture; housekeeping; lifting of loads and strain injuries; electrical hazards; heating; noise; tobacco smoke; stress; dangerous substances; fire hazards; environmental protection.
PREVENT, rue Gachard 88, Bte 4, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, 2002. 23p. Illus 8 ref. Price: EUR 3.00.
Knutti R., Bucheli A., Graf M., Grüninger A.W., Stracke R.
Accidents don't just happen! - Safety and health protection in offices
L'accident n'arrive pas par hasard! - Sécurité et protection de la santé dans les bureaux [in French]
Accidents often occur in office environments, examples being tripping on open drawers, falls in stairways and falls from office chairs used as stepladders. This safety guide presents a general overview of the hazards that are present in offices and proposes advice on how they can be avoided. It also contains information on the rights and duties of employers and employees with respect to occupational safety and health. Contents: job content, work organization and behaviour; office workplaces and work environment; other workplaces and activities; buildings; infrastructure; example of an office safety check-list. Replaces the 1992 document (CIS 92-1838) on the same topic.
Commission fédérale pour la coordination de la sécurité au travail, P.O. Box, 6002 Lucerne, Switzerland, 2002. 103p. Illus. Index.
Nakanishi N., Sato M., Shirai K., Nakajima K., Murakami S., Takatorige T., Suzuki K., Tatara K.
Associations between white blood cell count and features of the metabolic syndrome in Japanese male office workers
In this study, the association of white blood cell (WBC) count with different components of metabolic syndrome (MS) was assessed in 5275 male Japanese office workers aged between 23 and 59. There was a significant correlation between WBC count and body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, total cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins, triglycerides, fasting plasma glucose and uric acid. After controlling for potential confounding factors, the adjusted means of WBC count were significantly higher in subjects with each feature of the MS (obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, low high-density lipoprotein levels, hypertriglyceridaemia, high fasting plasma glucose levels and hyperuricaemia). The adjusted WBC count increments in subjects with 1, 2, 3, 4, and ≥5 features of the MS were 0.28, 0.45, 0.68, 0.76, and 1.40x109 cells/L, respectively, compared with the subjects without features of the MS. These data indicate a strong association between WBC count and a number of disorders characterizing the MS among Japanese men.
Industrial Health, July 2002, Vol.40, No.3, p.273-277. 15 ref.
Sust C.A., Lazarus H.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Work at computer screens and noise
Bildschirmarbeit und Geräusche [in German]
This report describes an experiment conducted over a five-day period during which 32 participants carried out several typical office tasks of varying complexity while being subjected to five levels of noise (from 35 to 70dB). Results indicate that the performance (time necessary for completion and quality of work) was reduced with increasing task complexity and noise exposure. Participants also felt an increasing need to rest. In situations where the tasks were highly complex and involved a large amount of information, and where the noise levels are high, there was a tendency to cease work or to carry out only part of the task.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 2002. 108p. Illus. 46 ref. Price: EUR 11.50.
Marcus M., Gerr F., Monteilh C., Ortiz D.J., Gentry E., Cohen S., Edwards A., Ensor C., Kleinbaum D.
A prospective study of computer users: II. Postural risk factors for musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders
A total of 632 newly hired computer users was followed prospectively to evaluate associations between posture and neck or shoulder (NS) and hand or arm (HA) musculoskeletal symptoms and musculoskeletal disorders. Participants' postures were measured at entry and they reported symptoms on weekly diaries. Participants who reported symptoms were examined for specific disorders. It was found that keying with an inner elbow angle greater than 121°, greater downward head tilt, and presence of armrests were associated with lower risk of NS symptoms or disorders, while keying with elbow height below the height of the "J" key and the presence of a telephone shoulder rest were associated with a greater risks. Horizontal location of the "J" key over 12cm from the edge of the desk was associated with a lower risk of HA symptoms and disorders, while use of a keyboard with the "J" key more than 3.5cm above the table surface, key activation force higher than 48g, and radial wrist deviation of over 5° while using a mouse were associated with greater risks. The severity of HA symptoms and disorders were also associated with the number of hours of keying per week. See also CIS 03-463.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Apr. 2002, Vol.41, No.4, p.236-249. 22 ref.
Gerr F., Marcus M., Ensor C., Kleinbaum D., Cohen S., Edwards A., Gentry E., Ortiz D.J., Monteilh C.
A prospective study of computer users: I. Study design and incidence of musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders
A prospective study of computer users was performed to evaluate risk factors for neck or shoulder (NS) and hand or arm (HA) musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). A total of 632 subjects newly hired into jobs requiring ≥15hr/week of computer use were followed for up to three years. At study entry, workstation dimensions and worker postures were measured and medical and psychosocial risk factors were assessed. Daily diaries were used to document work practices and incident MSD symptoms. Those reporting symptoms were examined for specific MSDs. The annual incidence of NS symptoms was 58 cases/100 person-years, with confirmed incidence of MSD 35 cases/100 person-years. The most common MSD was somatic pain syndrome. The annual incidence of HA symptoms was 39 cases/100 person-years with confirmed MSD incidence of 21 cases/100 person-years. The most common HA disorder was de Quervain's tendonitis. 46% of NS and 32% of HA symptoms occurred during the first month of follow-up. Sex, age, ethnicity and prior history of NS pain were associated with NS symptoms and MSD, while sex, prior history of HA pain, prior computer use and children at home were associated with HA symptoms or MSD. See also CIS 03-464.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Apr. 2002, Vol.41, No.4, p.221-235. Illus. 42 ref.
Computerized workplaces - 10 proposals for your health and well-being
Postes de travail informatisés - 10 conseils pour votre santé et votre bien-être [in French]
Arbeiten am Bildschirm - 10 Tipps für Ihre Gesundheit und Ihr Wohlbefinden [in German]
Lavoro al videoterminale - 10 consigli utili per tutelare la salute e il benessere dei lavoratori [in Italian]
This leaflet contains ten ergonomic proposals for the health and well-being persons working at screens: avoid reflections and glare; place the screen directly facing the user; ensure that there is enough space for the legs under the table; take advantage of the various layout possibilities; ensure that the forearms are in a horizontal position; select a chair allowing dynamic seating; observe a proper distance between the eyes and the screen; adjust the screen so that the upper limit is 5-10cm below eye level; make use of auxiliary equipment foot rests, arm rests, document holders); move around regularly.
Suva, Gesundheitsschutz, Postfach, 6002 Luzern, Switzerland, 2002. 12p. Illus. 3 ref.
http://wwwitsp1.suva.ch/sap/its/mimes/waswo/99/pdf/84021-f.pdf [in French]
http://wwwitsp1.suva.ch/sap/its/mimes/waswo/99/pdf/84021-d.pdf [in German]
http://wwwitsp1.suva.ch/sap/its/mimes/waswo/99/pdf/84021-i.pdf [in Italian]
Estryn-Béhar M., Milanini G., Blanco E., Bonnet S.
Ergonomic study preceding the change in the layout of the medical secretariat of a clinic
Etude ergonomique préalable au réaménagement du secrétariat médical d'une clinique [in French]
The quality of reception is an important aspect of the functioning of a private surgical and medical clinic. Several ergonomic studies involving health care personnel have been carried out in hospital settings. However, little attention has been paid to the administration services that receive the patients, despite the fact that their conditions of work have a direct bearing on the relationship between the patients and the institution. This article describes an ergonomic study carried out in the medical secretariat of a private clinic. Work involved job studies and data collection, followed by the analysis of the data and of proposals submitted by the staff. It resulted in a new design involving a total change in the layout of the work premises.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 4th Quarter 2002, No.92, p.369-376. Illus. 3 ref.
Fogleman M., Lewis R.J.
Factors associated with self-reported musculoskeletal discomfort in video display terminal (VDT) users
The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors based on self-reported musculoskeletal discomfort in a population of video display terminal operators. 292 responses to a questionnaire were analysed. Questions included symptoms for several body regions, job requirements, demographic information and hobbies. The following body regions were studied: head and eyes, neck and upper back, lower back, shoulders, elbows and forearms, hands and wrists. Results indicated a statistically significant increased risk of discomfort on each of the body regions as the number of hours of keyboard use increased. Improper monitor and keyboard position was also significantly associated with head and eye, and shoulder and back discomfort, respectively. These results emphasize the importance of workstation ergonomics and the need to limit the number of uninterrupted hours at the keyboard to reduce musculoskeletal symptoms.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, June 2002, Vol.29, No.6, p.311-318. Illus. 34 ref.
Wright D.W., Beard M.J., Edington D.W.
Association of health risks with the cost of time away from work
This study compared the cost of time away from work (TAW) with health risk status and individual health risks of 6220 hourly workers at an office equipment manufacturer. The study used three years (1998 to 2000) of TAW and health risk appraisal data. Higher TAW costs were associated with illness days, drug/medication use, the individual's lower perception of physical health, job dissatisfaction, high stress, life dissatisfaction and physical inactivity. More high-risk individuals (80.6%) had a TAW occurrence than medium- (72.8%) and low-risk (61.1%) individuals. High-risk individuals also had higher TAW costs than medium- and low-risk individuals. Of the total TAW costs, 36.2% was attributed to the excess risks of the medium- and high-risk individuals. If TAW costs follow risk reduction, annual savings of USD 1.7 million would be achievable within the enterprise.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2002, Vol.44, No.12, p.1126-1134. Illus. 38 ref.
Work on screens and dryness of the eyes
Travail sur écran et sécheresse oculaire [in French]
The risk factors of visual fatigue during work on screens and the corresponding preventive measures are well understood. However, the preventive measures are not always implemented, no doubt because of the diversity of risk factors. Visual fatigue can appear in the form of physiological changes such as lengthening of the near point of accommodation at the end of the working day, or as complaints of ocular dryness. The objective of this review article is to highlight current understanding of the topic, based on a literature survey. Contents: description of the lachrymal system; methods for evaluating lachrymal secretion; work on screens and ocular dryness; causes of ocular dryness; preventive measures.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 2nd Quarter 2002, No.90, p.131-135. Illus. 31 ref.
Sanz Merino J.A.
Basic guide for workers using visual display units for data
Instrucción básica para el trabajador usuario de pantallas de visualización de datos [in Spanish]
This guide is aimed at persons working at screens and presents the main hazards related to this type of work together with the corresponding ergonomic preventive measures. Topics covered: vision problems and visual fatigue; musculoskeletal disorders; mental fatigue; radiation emitted by screens; screen filters; regulations applicable to work at screens; legal provisions applicable to users of screens; questionnaire aimed at checking the ergonomics of workplaces involving work at screens; test for evaluating the knowledge acquired from reading the guide.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2002. 39p. Illus. Price: EUR 3.31.
Springston J.P., Esposito W.A., Cleversey K.W.
Baseline indoor air quality measurements collected from 136 metropolitan New York region commercial office buildings between 1997-1999
Between January 1997 and December 1999, 648 surveys were performed in 136 commercial office buildings in the greater New York area as part of an indoor environmental quality programme. Sampling was performed on a spot basis in non-problem buildings, during normal business hours, either quarterly or semiannually. Carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) were among the various physical and chemical parameters which were sampled. More than 15,000 data points were collected, and the results were analyzed to determine the mean, median and standard deviation for each of those parameters. The results were then compared to various standards and guidelines applicable to the indoor environment. It was found that 98% of the CO2 readings were below 1000ppm, and 99.9% of the CO readings were below 10ppm. However for TVOCs, nearly 88% of the readings exceeded the proposed European guideline value of 0.3mg/m3.
AIHA Journal, May-June 2002, Vol.63, No.3, p.354-360. Illus. 41 ref.
Dewa C.S., Goering P., Lin E., Paterson M.
Depression-related short-term disability in an employed population
This study on disability claims for mental and nervous disorders was based on administrative data collected from three major Canadian financial sector employers, focusing on depression. The prevalence of short-term disability due to depression is reported, the characteristics of workers affected and their disability outcomes are described. It is observed that compared with other nervous and mental disorders, depression-related short-term disability generally affected more employees, lasted longer, and had a higher rate of recurrence. At the end of their episodes, more than three quarters of workers returned to work. These estimates suggest that the potential magnitude of the impact of short-term disability should be a concern for employers.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2002, Vol.44, No.7, p.628-633. Illus. 23 ref.
Trout D., Nimgade A., Mueller C., Hall R., Earnest G.S.
Health effects and occupational exposures among office workers near the World Trade Center disaster site
To evaluate health effects and occupational exposures three months after the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) among a population of employees working close to the disaster site, a cross-sectional survey was carried out among government employees working near the WTC site in New York City (NYC) and a comparison group in Dallas, Texas. An industrial hygiene evaluation of the NYC workplace was conducted. Constitutional and mental health symptoms were reported more frequently among workers in NYC. Post-September 11 counseling services were utilized to a greater degree among workers in NYC, while utilization of other types of medical services did not differ significantly between the groups. No occupational exposures to substances at concentrations that would explain the reported constitutional symptoms were found. There is no evidence of ongoing hazardous exposure to airborne contaminants among the workers surveyed. Specific causes of reported constitutional health symptoms have not been determined.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2002, Vol.44, No.7, p.601-605. 11 ref.
Head J., Martikainen P., Kumari M., Kuper H., Marmot M.
Health and Safety Executive
Work environment, alcohol consumption and ill-health - The Whitehall II study
The influences of the psychosocial work environment, change in work and alcohol consumption and dependence on health were studied in a cohort of 10,308 British civil servants. High job demands, low decision latitude and effort reward imbalance were related to increased incidence of coronary heart disease. Effort reward imbalance was related to increased incidence of diabetes in men. Adverse changes in work characteristics, particularly social support at work, predicted worsening of mental health for men and women. The effects of change in work characteristics on physical health and coronary heart disease were modest. Alcohol consumption was related to risk of accident absenteeism with an increased risk already evident at moderate levels of alcohol consumption.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2002. viii, 64p. Illus. 194 ref. Price: GBP 15.00.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_htm/2002/crr02422.htm [in English]
Occupational Safety and Health (Display Screen Equipment) Regulation [Hong Kong]
Zhiye anquan ji jiankang (Xianshi pingmu shebei) guili [in Chinese]
This Regulation is made under the 1997 Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance (see CIS 99-1756). Contents: definitions; scope of application (all workplaces where visual display screen equipment is used for or in connection with work, except for some highly specific exceptions); risk assessment; risk reduction; provision of information; requirements of workstations; provision of safety and health training.
Government of the Hong Kong SAR Gazette, Legal Supplement No.2, 26 Apr. 2002, p.B367-375.
Szeto G.P.Y., Straker L., Raine S.
A field comparison of neck and shoulder postures in symptomatic and asymptomatic office workers
The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the head, neck and shoulder postures of female office workers with and without symptoms in these regions. The two groups reported significantly different discomfort scores across five trials repeated during a working day. Results of video capture and two-dimensional motion analysis showed increased head tilt and neck flexion postures in the symptomatic subjects compared to the asymptomatic subjects. Symptomatic subjects also tended to have more protracted acromions. All subjects demonstrated an approximately 10% increase in forward head posture from their relaxed sitting postures when working with the computer display, but there were no significant changes in posture as a result of time-at-work.
Applied Ergonomics, Jan. 2002, Vol.33, No.1, p.75-84. Illus. 36 ref.
Lewis R.J., Krawiec M., Confer E., Agopsowicz D., Crandall E.
Musculoskeletal disorder worker compensation costs and injuries before and after an office ergonomics program
To study the effectiveness of an office ergonomics training programme for video display terminal (VDT) users, workers' compensation costs and injury rates for VDT-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) were examined before and after implementation of training at two company locations. A greater number of claims were filed in the post-intervention (n=18) versus the pre-intervention period (n=12), but the average cost per claim was considerably reduced (USD 1553 and USD 15,141 respectively). This reduced cost per claim is consistent with the programme's emphasis on seeking early treatment for MSD-related symptoms. The average injury rate also was reduced in the post-intervention versus pre-intervention period (6.94 versus 16.8 per 1000 employees respectively). These results suggest that office ergonomic interventions may be effective in reducing the MSD-related workers' compensation costs and injury rates.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Feb. 2002, Vol.29, No.2, p.95-99. Illus. 7 ref.
Fidalgo Vega M., Nogareda Cuixart C.
Ergonomic design of visual display workstations: Work equipment
El diseño ergonómico del puesto de trabajo con pantallas de visualización: el equipo de trabajo [in Spanish]
This information note discusses the main ergonomic aspects to be taken into account when designing the layout of workplaces involving work with visual display screens, given current technical and scientific knowledge and legal requirements with respect to occupational safety and health. Contents: general considerations concerning applicable legislation; definition of the basic elements of work at screens (visual display screens, users, workstations); factors that need to be taken into account when designing workstations (equipment, work environment, worker, work organization); requirements with respect to work equipment (spatial layout of equipment, screen, filters, screen support, keyboard, wrist rest, desk, document holder, work documents, seat, electrical wires and cables); working on laptop computers.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2001. 7p. Illus. 12 ref.
http://internet.mtas.es/Insht/ntp/ntp_602.htm [in Spanish]
Hygiene of ventilation systems - Hygiene requirements applicable to ventilation systems for offices and conference rooms
Hygiene in raumlufttechnischen Anlagen - Anforderungen an RLT-Anlagen für Büro- und Verwaltungsräume [in German]
This document describes the hygiene requirements that must be met by ventilations systems for offices, conference rooms and other types of meeting rooms and provides information on the techniques that are currently available for complying with the standard VDI 6022-1. Contents: importance of standards, specifications and directives; requirements with respect to hygiene during the planning, erection, use and maintenance of ventilation systems; requirements applicable to various components and functionalities (regulation strategies, components, air intakes, central equipment housing, filters, air humidifiers, heat exchangers, ventilators, heat recovery, humidity absorbers, cooling ceilings); variables that need to be periodically checked (temperature, pressure, humidity, air drafts, airflow, germ counts); health hazards (sick building syndrome, biological and chemical hazards); supply of personal protective equipment in the event where technical measures cannot by themselves ensure the safety of workers.
Expert verlag GmbH, Wankelstr. 13, 71272 Renningen, Germany, 2001. 107p. Illus. 41 ref. Index. Price: EUR 19.80.
Aliende García P., Idoate García V.M.
Working on VDU screens and ocular pathologies
El trabajo con ordenador (PDV) y la patología ocular [in Spanish]
This survey was carried out for highlighting the possible relationship between working on visual display unit (VDU) screens and ocular pathologies. A 27-item questionnaire administered to 97 persons working on screens was analysed. Results show that the relationship between work on screens and ocular symptoms is not statistically significant. However, two dominant symptoms were highlighted: visual fatigue and irritation of the conjunctiva.
Medicina y seguridad del trabajo, 2001, Vol.XLVIII, No.191, p.27-36. 17 ref.
Ursunáriz Sala P., Santos Jiménez I., Vallejo San Juan A., García Feijoo J., Castillo Gómez A.
Ergonomic conditions and VDU eye syndrome in relation to the use of computer screens
Condiciones ergonómicas y síndrome ocular de las pantallas de visualización de datos [in Spanish]
With the increasing use of computers, a condition called VDU eye syndrome is becoming more frequent. In this study, a survey was conducted among 150 employees working in the administration department of a hospital without prior ocular pathologies. Ocular symptoms were evaluated by means of a questionnaire. An ergonomic study of the workstations of employees with ocular symptoms was then carried out. 91.1% were women. A large majority worked at screens placed at a distance of over 60cm. The ergonomics of workstations are consequently of key importance for avoiding ocular problems. A series of organizational and technical measures are proposed for improving workstation ergonomics.
Medicina y seguridad del trabajo, 2001, Vol.XLVIII, No.190, p.61-70. Illus. 4 ref.
Op De Beeck R., Van den Broek K.
Ergonomics of office work
L'ergonomie du travail de bureau [in French]
The ergonomics of office work concerns persons who work in office environments or use office equipment. New trends in office work include home work and teleworking. Rapid technological developments allow new possibilities, but also involve new risks. This booklet highlights the risk factors that are present in office work environments and proposes prevention measures. In particular, it discusses the advantages and disadvantages of laptop computers and flat screens, as well as of voice recognition technology as a means of data entry. In appendix: check list for the assessment of work at a VDU.
PREVENT, rue Gachard 88, Bte 4, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, 2001. 31p. Illus. 19 ref. Price: EUR 16.95.
Jansen J.P., Burdorf A., Steyerberg E.
A novel approach for evaluating level, frequency and duration of lumbar posture simultaneously during work
In this study, statistical models are proposed for determining the essential characteristics of postural loads. A direct registration of lumbar posture was made over a workday with an inclinometer for 64 nurses, 16 housekeepers and 27 office workers. An exposure variation analysis was used to summarize information on the angle of trunk flexion, the time period of maintained postures, and the percentage of work time. A hierarchical regression analysis was used to compare these characteristics. The occupational groups did not differ in either frequency or duration of trunk flexion >30°. Nurses were exposed to longer work times than the office workers with trunk flexions of 30-70° maintained for less than five seconds, whereas office workers experienced longer work times at angles of <30° for longer periods. Comparable differences were found between housekeepers and office workers. This method offers an alternative to conventional ergonomic analysis in which the dynamics of exposure are often ignored.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Dec. 2001, Vol.27, No.6, p.373-380. Illus. 17 ref.
Guidelines on office ergonomics
With the rapid pace of development of office computerization, the use of visual display units (VDUs) has become widespread in modern offices. However, VDUs have often been placed without sufficient attention to ergonomic principles. This, combined with poor environmental conditions and work stress may contribute to a variety of health problems, sickness absenteeism and productivity loss. This CD-ROM provides guidelines on good occupational health practices in offices. Contents: health aspects of office work; workstation design (work surface, chair, screen, other office equipment); work posture (correct working postures, preventing poor working postures, manual handling); work environment (lighting, ambient noise, indoor air quality); work practices (task design and planning, task variation, training, rest breaks). Appendices include: office ergonomics checklist; medical examinations for persons working at screens; acceptable limits for indoor air quality parameters.
Ministry of Manpower, Occupational Health Department, 18 Havelock Road #05-01, Singapore 059764, Republic of Singapore, 2001. CD-ROM containing report in PDF format (33p. Illus. 9 ref.).
http://www.mom.gov.sg/MOM/Application/CDA/Main_Channels/MOM_CoBrand_Frame?FORM=/MOM/OHD/Publications/574_ergoguide.pdf&TOP=/MOM/Application/CDA/Main_Channels/MOM_CoBrand_Top [in English]
Savikko A., Alexanderson K., Hensing G.
Do mental health problems increase sickness absence due to other diseases?
The aim of this study was to analyse the association of mental health problems with sickness absence in general. A total of 1407 women employed as metal workers, medical secretaries and nurses, were included. Sick-leave data were collected through social insurance and employment registers. Data on mental health were collected by means of questionnaires, and enabled the classification of subjects into five broad indicators of mental health. For all indicators, it was found that women with mental health problems had higher levels of sickness absence than women without mental health problems. The association was found for frequency, incidence, length and duration of sickness absence. In all diagnoses, the influence of mental health problems need to be taken into account for sickness absenteeism and rehabilitation.
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 2001, Vol.36, p.310-316. 28 ref.
Working at screens in a reclined position?
Bildschirmarbeit - im Liegen!? [in German]
Postures adopted during work at computer screens while seated at a desk induce a tensing of muscles, which in turn gives rise to poor blood irrigation and pulmonary ventilation. This article discusses the ergonomics of various unusual attitudes for working at screens, in particular the reclined or semi-reclined postures which have the quality of reducing muscular tension. The screen and keyboard positions are discussed, as well as those of document holders when present. Various types of keyboards are presented, including some at the prototype stage such as split keyboards, vertical split keyboard and mobile keyboards with a reduced number of keys, where some letters require the simultaneous depression of several keys.
Computer-Fachwissen, July 2001, No7, p.8-11. Illus.
Minimum Requirements for Safety and Health at Work with Visual Display Screen Equipment Regulations of 2001 [Cyprus]
Oi perí Eláhistōn Prodiagrafṓn Asfáleias kai Ugeías katá tēn Ergasía se Exoplismó me Othónē Optikḗs Apeikónisēs Kanonismoí tou 2001 [in Greek]
These regulations were issued under the authority of the 1996 Act concerning safety and health at work (see CIS 98-5). They prescribe the minimum OSH requirements of visual display equipment (computer screens) and of the working environment where such equipment is present.
Episêmos Efêmeris tês Dêmokratias, 7 Dec. 2001, No.3556, p.4757-4764.
http://www.cysha.org.cy/greek/downloads/nomothesia/006_Nomothesia.pdf [in Greek]
Polarized task lighting to reduce reflective glare in open-plan office cubicles
Reflective glare causes eye discomfort, makes it difficult to read a document and has been thought to contribute to eyestrain. This paper analyzes the application of polarized lighting for this specific situation. The use of a linear polarized light source helps to minimize glare by darkening the reflected image of the light source on the document. The performance and predictive optimization of the use of polarized lighting in this situation is investigated according to female and male viewer heights. Theoretical predictions and light measurement analysis of glare reduction are compared with empirical results from testing on a panel of humans on semi-gloss finish and matte finish papers. This study shows that with the correct positioning of a polarized light source, glare may be significantly reduced, and correlations exist between the theory, empirical measurements and the human response to glare reduction.
Applied Ergonomics, Oct. 2001, Vol.32, No.5, p.485-499. Illus. 30 ref.
De Berardis B., Paoletti L.
Characterization of the thoracic fraction of airborne particulate matter (PM10) in an urban area and in an adjacent office building
Caratterizzazione della frazione toracica (PM10) del particolato aerodisperso in un sito urbano ed in un ambiente indoor limitrofo [in Italian]
Airborne particulate matter (PM10) was collected in an urban area (in Rome, Italy) and in an adjacent office building. Samples were analysed by scanning electron microscopy. A statistical analysis method allowed to identify seven groups of similar particles in the particulate matter and a seasonal trend was demonstrated with an increase in the aluminium-silicate particles and a minor increment in sulfate particles during summer. The results suggest that the characteristics of indoor PM10 depend mostly on the nature of outdoor particulates in the vicinity.
Medicina del lavoro, May-June 2001, Vol.92, No.3, p.206-214. Illus. 19 ref.
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