2015-08-01 12:00 - Messages

Further Trends in Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders

A Comparison of Risk Factors for Symptoms Using Quality of Work Life Data From the 2002, 2006, and 2010 General Social Survey
Objective: To report trends for the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.
Methods: Three Quality of Work Life surveys examine the risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders.
Results: Findings similar for several risk factors, but differences across the reporting years may reflect economic conditions. Respondent numbers in 2010 were reduced, some risk factors had pattern changes, and there were sex and age differences. Trend analysis showed most significant changes were for the “work fast” risk factor. New 2010 “physical effort” item showed sex differences, and items reflective of total worker health showed strong associations with “back pain” and “pain in arms.”
Conclusions: Intervention strategies should focus on physical exposures and psychosocial risk factors (work stress, safety climate, job satisfaction, supervisor support, work fast, work freedom, work time) that have been consistently related to reports of musculoskeletal disorders. Economic conditions will influence some psychosocial risk factors.

Source: ***, Robert B.; Lowe, Brian D.; Lu, Ming-Lun; Krieg, Edward F. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Médicine, August 2015, Volume 57, Issue 8, p. 910-928.

Ergonomics Climate Assessment

A measure of operational performance and employee well-being
Ergonomics interventions have the potential to improve operational performance and employee well-being. We introduce a framework for ergonomics climate, the extent to which an organization emphasizes and supports the design and modification of work to maximize both performance and well-being outcomes. We assessed ergonomics climate at a large manufacturing facility twice during a two-year period. When the organization used ergonomics to promote performance and well-being equally, and at a high level, employees reported less work-related pain. A larger discrepancy between measures of operational performance and employee well-being was associated with increased reports of work-related pain. The direction of this discrepancy was not significantly related to work-related pain, such that it didn't matter which facet was valued more. The Ergonomics Climate Assessment can provide companies with a baseline assessment of the overall value placed on ergonomics and help prioritize areas for improving operational performance and employee well-being.

Source: Krista Hoffmeister, Alyssa Gibbons, Natalie Schwatka, John Rosecrance. Applied Ergonomics, Volume 50, September 2015, p. 160-169.

Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders within management systems

A scoping review of practices, approaches, and techniques
The purpose of this study was to identify and summarize the current research evidence on approaches to preventing musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) within Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS). Databases in business, engineering, and health and safety were searched and 718 potentially relevant publications were identified and examined for their relevance. Twenty-one papers met the selection criteria and were subjected to thematic analysis. There was very little literature describing the integration of MSD risk assessment and prevention into management systems. This lack of information may isolate MSD prevention, leading to difficulties in preventing these disorders at an organizational level. The findings of this review argue for further research to integrate MSD prevention into management systems and to evaluate the effectiveness of the approach.

Source: Yazdani, Amin, Neumann, W. Patrick, Imbeau, Daniel, Bigelow, Philip, Pagell, Mark, & Wells, Richard. (2015). Applied Ergonomics, 51, p. 255-262. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2015.05.006

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