2016-11-01 12:00 - Messages

Injury rates before and after the implementation of a safe resident handling program in the long-term care sector

Manual resident handling (RH) tasks increase risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) for clinical staff in nursing homes. To reduce the incidence and cost of MSDs, a large healthcare corporation instituted a Safe Resident Handling Program (SRHP) comprising purchase of mechanical lifting equipment, worker training, and detailed usage/maintenance protocols. The program was initially administered by a third-party company; after three years, program responsibility shifted to individual centers.
Workers' compensation claim rates were compared before and after SRHP implementation. Claims and FTEs were classified as “pre-SRHP,” “first post period” (up to 3 years post-SRHP), or “second post period” (4–6 years post-SRHP), based on claim date relative to implementation date for each center.
Complete data were available for 136 nursing homes with average annual employment of 18,571 full-time equivalents. Over the 8-year period, 22,445 claims were recorded. At each time period, the majority of RH claims affected the back (36% low, 15% other) and upper extremity (26%). Workers' compensation claims were reduced by 11% during the first post period and 14% during the second post period. RH-related claims were reduced by 32% and 38%, respectively. After six years, the rate for all claims had decreased in 72% of centers, and RH claim rates decreased in 82%. Relative risk for post-/pre-SRHP injury rates increased for centers with less developed wellness programs, unionized centers, and centers with higher LPN turnover pre-SRHP. Injury reduction among these nursing home workers is plausibly attributable to the introduction of mechanical lifting equipment within the context of this multi-faceted SRHP.

Source: Kurowski, A., Gore, R., Roberts, Y., Kincaid, K. R., & Punnett, L. (2017). Safety Science, 92, 217-224.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2016.10.012

Low back pain patterns over one year among 842 workers in the DPhacto study and predictors for chronicity based on repetitive measurements

BACKGROUND: Low back pain (LBP) occurrence and intensity are considered to fluctuate over time, requiring frequent repetitive assessments to capture its true time pattern. Text messages makes frequent reporting of LBP feasible, which enables investigation of 1) the time pattern of LBP, and 2) predictors for having a continued high (chronic) level of LBP over longer periods of time. However, this has not previously been investigated in a larger working population. The aim of this study was to examine these two aspects in a working population of 842 workers with repetitive measurements of LBP over one year. METHODS: There were 842 workers from 15 companies in the DPhacto study participating in this study. Demographic, work- and health-related factors, and back endurance were measured at baseline, while 14 monthly repeated text message assessments of LBP intensity were prospectively collected. A factor analysis was used to cluster different time-patterns of LBP, and defining the group of participants with chronic LBP. A multi-adjusted logistic regression analysis was performed to investigate baseline predictors for chronic LBP. RESULTS: The factor analysis revealed two dimensions of the time pattern of LBP, defined as the LBP intensity and LBP variation, respectively. A Visual Pain Mapping was formed based on the combination of the two pain dimensions, classifying the time-patterns of LBP into four categories: (1) low intensity and low variation, (2) low intensity and high variation, (3) high intensity and high variation, (4) high intensity and low variation (defined as chronic LBP). Significant baseline predictors for chronic LBP in the fully adjusted model were high baseline LBP (p < 0.01), low workability (p < 0.01), low BMI (p < 0.05), and being a blue-collar worker (vs. white-collar worker) (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: This study presents a novel classification of the course of LBP based on repetitive measurements over a year, and revealed the predicting factors for chronic LBP based on repetitive measurements in a working population.

Source: Lagersted-Olsen, J., Bay, H., Jørgensen, M. B., Holtermann, A., & Søgaard, K. (2016). BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 17(1), 453.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12891-016-1307-1

Influence of Manual Labor at Work on Muscular Fitness and Its Relationship With Work Performance

Objective: The present study examined the influence of workplace manual labor on measures of muscular fitness, with a secondary aim to investigate the relationship between muscular fitness and work performance in blue-collar (BC) workers.
Methods: Leg extension isokinetic strength at slow and fast velocities, hamstring and hip-flexor flexibility, and low back muscular endurance were examined in young and older BC workers and white-collar (WC) controls, while work performance was examined in the BC cohort.
Results: There were no differences in muscular fitness variables between BC and WC groups; however, the older men had lower low back muscular endurance (−43.0%) and strength at slow (−9.4%) and fast (−12.7%) velocities. Work performance was associated with strength at fast velocities (r=0.633) in the older BC workers.
Conclusions: Leg strength may influence work performance, with higher velocities becoming more important in older workers.

Source: Ryan, E. D., Thompson, B. J., & Sobolewski, E. J. (2016). Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 58(10), 1034-1039.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000860

L’ergonomie du genre: quelles influences sur l’intervention et la formation ?

Le numéro spécial proposé sur ergonomie et genre vise à comprendre dans une approche pluridisciplinaire les façons différentes pour les femmes et les hommes de réaliser leur activité de travail et hors travail. L'objectif est d'interroger nos méthodes d'intervention ergonomique sur les relations entre travail et santé du point de vue du sexe/genre et d'en tirer des leçons pour la formation et la recherche. Une dizaine d'articles dans des secteurs variés apportent des connaissances sur la nécessité d'analyser de manière différenciée les expositions aux risques, les difficultés de santé selon le sexe/genre. Les stéréotypes apparaissent dans la répartition des emplois, la division du travail, l'attribution de rôle selon les horaires de travail. Porter le regard sur l'activité, plus exactement sur les modalités de régulations dans le travail en fonction des formes d'organisation du travail selon le sexe/genre, amène aux différentes étapes de l'intervention ergonomique à questionner les processus de transformation du travail qui peuvent tenir davantage l'égalité professionnelle. La première étape de la démarche est d'analyser des données préliminaires à partir d'une demande d'intervention pour construire le problème à traiter du point de vue du sexe/genre. La deuxième étape consiste à faire une analyse du travail en mettant en évidence les stratégies différenciées mises en œuvre par les hommes et les femmes dans l'activité et leurs effets sur la préservation de la santé et les processus de construction. La troisième étape traite d'une réflexion plus générale sur la transformation des représentations et des situations selon l'approche sexe/genre à partir des contextes spécifiques du travail ou des situations de formation et des demandes d'intervention émanant du terrain. Ce numéro spécial est porté par un groupe de chercheurs et praticiens pluridisciplinaires en Europe et au Canada qui participent de façon active à plusieurs congrès nationaux et internationaux pour promouvoir une approche du sexe/genre du point de vue de l'activité de travail.

Source: (2016). Pistes, 18(2).
http://pistes.revues.org/4827

Effects of natural posture imbalance on posture deviation caused by load carriage

The purpose of this study was to explore posture deviation variability caused by load carriages depending on natural posture imbalance to provide information about a carrying habit exaggerating an individual's posture imbalance. All people exhibit some imbalance from the standard anatomical pose which assumes alignment with the frontal and median planes. In this study natural posture imbalance is the starting point for determining posture deviation which is posture imbalance resulting from an activity, carrying an item.

Source: Lyu, S., & LaBat, K. L. (2016). International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 56, 115-123.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2016.09.006

Sickness absence and permanent work disability in relation to upper- and lower-body pain and occupational mechanical and psychosocial exposures

Musculoskeletal pain in multiple sites has been associated with sickness absence and permanent work disability. We found that high occupational mechanical exposures were associated with sickness absence, particularly in case of combined pain in the upper and lower body. We also found that combined pain and low social support at work were associated with permanent work disability.

Source: Sommer, T. G., Svendsen, S. W., & Frost, P. (2016). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3600

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