2012-09-01 12:00 - Messages

The Ergonomic Program Implementation Continuum (EPIC): Integration of health and safety

A process evaluation in the healthcare sector

INTRODUCTION: This article presents a health and safety intervention model and the use of process evaluation to assess a participatory ergonomic intervention. METHOD: The effectiveness of the Ergonomic Program Implementation Continuum (EPIC) was assessed at six healthcare pilot sites in Ontario, Canada. The model provided a framework to demonstrate evaluation findings. RESULTS: Participants reported that EPIC was thorough and identified improvements related to its use. Participants believed the program contributed to advancing an organizational culture of safety (COS). Main barriers to program uptake included resistance to change and need for adequate funding and resources. The dedication of organizational leaders and consultant coaches was identified as essential to the program's success. IMPACT ON INDUSTRY: In terms of impact on industry, findings contribute to the evidence-based knowledge of health and safety interventions and support use of the framework for creating a robust infrastructure to advance organizational COS and link staff safety and wellness with patient safety in healthcare.
Source :  Baumann A, Holness DL, Norman P, Idriss-Wheeler D, Boucher P. J. Saf. Res. 2012; 43(3): 205-213.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsr.2012.07.003

Office work can really harm you

Better workstations and posture are not delivering the anticipated benefits as computer-bound office workers creak under the strain of escalating workloads. A new study has found even good posture and ergonomic office equipment do not prevent back, neck, wrist and shoulder injuries and are failing to protect overburdened sedentary workers from a raised risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Researchers from the University of Sydney blamed the overall workplace environment for the poor health of office workers. Their survey of nearly 1,000 Australian workers across six government departments found about 85 per cent of people who spent more than eight hours a day working at a computer experienced neck pain. The study, published in the journal Work, also found three quarters reported shoulder pain and 70 per cent reported lower back pain. Long hours of computer work may also contribute to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

Source : Karin Lindgren Griffiths and others. Prevalence and risk factors for musculoskeletal symptoms with computer based work across occupations, Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, vol. 42, no 4, p. 533-541, 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/WOR-2012-1396


Show and tell: Visual symbols inform vulnerable workers about MSDs

Visual symbols or pictograms, along with training, are a promising approach to protect vulnerable workers from musculoskeletal disorders, according to a collaborative evaluation involving the Institute for Work & Health.

Source: At Work, Issue 69, Summer 2012: Institute for Work & Health. http://www.iwh.on.ca/at-work/69/show-and-tell-visual-symbols-inform-vulnerable-workers-about-msds


Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders in workers: classification and health surveillance

The underlying purpose of this commentary and position paper is to achieve evidence-based recommendations on prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Such prevention can take different forms (primary, secondary and tertiary), occur at different levels (i.e. in a clinical setting, at the workplace, at national level) and involve several types of activities. Members of the Scientific Committee (SC) on MSDs of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) and other interested scientists and members of the public recently discussed the scientific and clinical future of prevention of (work-related) MSDs during five round-table sessions at two ICOH conferences (in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2009, and in Angers, France, in 2010). Approximately 50 researchers participated in each of the sessions. More specifically, the sessions aimed to discuss new developments since 1996 in measures and classification systems used both in research and in practice, and agree on future needs in the field.

Source : Hagberg, M.; Violante, F.; Bonfiglioli, R.; Descatha, A.; Gold, J.; Evanoff, B.; Sluiter, J. Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders in workers: classification and health surveillance – statements of  the Scientific Committee on Musculoskeletal Disorders of the International Commission on Occupational Health. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2012, 13:109. http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2474-13-109.pdf

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