2016-09-01 12:00 - Messages

Processes, barriers and facilitators to implementation of a participatory ergonomics program among eldercare workers

This study aimed to investigate the processes of a participatory ergonomics program among 594 eldercare workers with emphasis on identified risk factors for low back pain and solutions, and reveal barriers and facilitators for implementation.
Sixty-nine per cent of the identified risk factors were physical ergonomic, 24% were organisational and 7% were psychosocial risk factors. Most solutions were organisational (55%), followed by physical (43%) and psychosocial solutions (2%). Internal factors (e.g. team or management) constituted 47% of the barriers and 75% of the facilitators. External factors (e.g. time, financial resources, collaboration with resident or relatives) constituted 53% of the barriers and 25% of the facilitators.
This study revealed the processes and implementation of a participatory ergonomics program among eldercare workers. The findings can be transferred to workers, workplaces, health and safety professionals, and researchers to improve future participatory ergonomics programs.

Source: Charlotte Diana Nørregaard Rasmussena, Naja Klærke Lindbergb, Marie Højbjerg Ravna, Marie Birk Jørgensena, Karen Søgaardb, Andreas Holtermanna. Applied Ergonomics, Volume 58, January 2017, p. 491-499.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2016.08.009

Does objectively measured daily duration of forward bending predict development and aggravation of low-back pain

A prospective study
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this paper was to investigate if objectively measured daily duration of forward bending of the trunk increases the risk of the development or aggravation of low-back pain (LBP) over one year in a working blue-collar population by examining (i) the incidence rate of LBP among workers reporting no LBP at baseline, and (ii) the aggravation of LBP among workers reporting LBP at baseline. METHODS: Using data from the Danish Physical Activity Cohort with Objective Measurements (DPhacto), the study measured forward bending of the trunk (>60 ) at work (FBW) and during leisure time (FBL), diurnally with accelerometers, and LBP with one-year monthly self-reports among 682 blue-collar workers from 15 workplaces. The development of LBP was investigated with Cox's proportional hazards model (N=200), and the aggravation of LBP was investigated with mixed model for repeated measurements (N=482). RESULTS: Workers with no LBP at baseline had a FBW median of 7.9 minutes/day. Workers with LBP at baseline had a FBW median of 7.3 minutes/day. No significant associations were found between daily duration of forward bending of the trunk and development or aggravation of LBP. Similar results were found in the secondary analyses, in which FBL, different degrees of forward bending (>30 and >90 ), and varying follow-up time since measurement were considered. CONCLUSION: Using objective measurements of forward bending and monthly follow-up of LBP over one year, this study did not confirm the hypothesis of a positive association between daily duration of forward bending and LBP.

Source: Lagersted-Olsen J, Thomsen BL, Holtermann A, et al. Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment & Health, 2016.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3591

Regular use of medication for musculoskeletal pain and risk of long-term sickness absence

A prospective cohort study among the general working population
BACKGROUND: The aim was to determine the prospective association between use of pain medication - due to musculoskeletal pain in the low back, neck/shoulder and hand/wrist - and long-term sickness absence. METHODS: Cox-regression analysis was performed to estimate the prospective association between regular use of pain medication and long-term sickness absence (LTSA; at least 6 consecutive weeks) among 9,544 employees from the general working population (Danish Work Environment Cohort Study 2010) and free from LTSA during 2009-2010. The fully adjusted model was controlled for age, gender, body mass index, smoking, leisure physical activity, job group, physical activity at work, psychosocial work environment, pain intensity, mental health and chronic disease. RESULTS: In 2010, the proportion of regular pain medication users due to musculoskeletal disorders was 20.8%: 13.4% as over-the-counter (i.e. non-prescription) and 7.4% as doctor prescribed. In the fully adjusted model, regular use of over-the-counter [HR 1.44 (95% CI 1.13-1.83)] and doctor prescribed (HR 2.18 (95% CI 1.67-2.86)) pain medication were prospectively associated with LTSA. CONCLUSIONS: Regular use of pain medication due to musculoskeletal pain is prospectively associated with LTSA even when adjusted for pain intensity. This study suggests that use of pain medication can be an important factor to be aware of in the prevention of sickness absence. Thus, regular use of pain medication - and not solely the intensity of pain - can be an early indicator that musculoskeletal pain can lead to serious consequences such as long-term sickness absence. SIGNIFICANCE: Use of medication due to musculoskeletal pain is prospectively associated with long-term sickness absence even when adjusted for pain intensity. Use of pain medication can be a red flag to be aware of in the prevention of sickness absence.

Source: Sundstrup E, Jakobsen MD, Thorsen SV, et al. European Journal of Pain, 2016.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejp.932

Association between occupational lifting and day-to-day change in low-back pain intensity based on company records and text messages

Most previous studies assessing the association between physical workload and development of low-back pain have used self-reports for exposure. Using company records for quantifying exposure, this study shows that consecutive working days and higher workload are associated with acutely increased low-back pain.

Source: Andersen LL, Fallentin N, Ajslev JZN, Jakobsen MD, Sundstrup E. Scand J Work Environ Health, 2016.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3592

Risk assessment of pushing and pulling (RAPP) tool

This tool is designed to help assess the key risks in manual pushing and pulling operations involving whole-body effort, eg moving loaded trolleys or roll cages, or dragging, hauling, sliding or rolling loads.
It is intended to be used alongside the Manual handling assessment charts (the MAC tool)1 which helps assess lifting and carrying operations, and follows a similar
approach to that tool. It is aimed at those responsible for health and safety in workplaces and will help you to identify high-risk pushing and pulling activities and check the effectiveness of any risk-reduction measures.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg478.htm?ebul=gd-msd&cr=2/Sept2016

Longitudinal Relationship Between Sitting Time on a Working Day and Vitality, Work Performance, Presenteeism, and Sickness Absence

Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the longitudinal relationship between sitting time on a working day and vitality, work performance, presenteeism, and sickness absence.
Methods: At the start and end of a five-month intervention program at the workplace, as well as 10 months after the intervention, sitting time and work-related outcomes were measured using a standardized self-administered questionnaire and company records. Generalized linear mixed models were used to estimate the longitudinal relationship between sitting time and work-related outcomes, and possible interaction effects over time.
Results: A significant and sustainable decrease in sitting time on a working day was observed. Sitting less was significantly related to higher vitality scores, but this effect was marginal (b?=?−0.0006, P?=?0.000).
Conclusions: Our finding of significant though marginal associations between sitting time and important work-related outcomes justifies further research.

Source: Hendriksen, Ingrid J.M.; Bernaards, Claire M.; Steijn, Wouter M.P.; Hildebrandt, Vincent H. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: August 2016, Volume 58, Issue 8, p. 784-789.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000809

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