2017-07-01 12:00 - Messages

Work-related biomechanical exposure and job strain in midlife separately and jointly predict disability after 28 years

A Finnish longitudinal study
Higher level of work-related biomechanical exposure and job strain in midlife separately and jointly carried a higher risk for increase in disability after 28 years. Mitigation of both of these co-occurring exposures at work in midlife could reduce the risk of disability in later life. Thus the workplace should be promoted as an arena for preventive interventions regarding disability in old age.

Source: Prakash KC, Neupane S, Leino-Arjas P, von Bonsdorff MB, Rantanen T, von Bonsdorff ME, Seitsamo J, Ilmarinen J, Nygård C-H. (2017). Scand J Work Environ Health.

Relations between work and upper extremity musculoskeletal problems (UEMSP) and the moderating role of psychosocial work factors on the relation between computer work and UEMSP

Purpose: Computer work has been identified as a risk factor for upper extremity musculoskeletal problems (UEMSP). But few studies have investigated how psychosocial and organizational work factors affect this relation. Nor have gender differences in the relation between UEMSP and these work factors  been studied. We sought to estimate: (1) the association between UEMSP and a range of physical, psychosocial and organizational work exposures, including the duration of computer work, and (2) the moderating effect of psychosocial work exposures on the relation between computer work and UEMSP.
Methods: Using 2007–2008 Québec survey data on 2478 workers, we carried out gender-stratified multivariable logistic regression modeling and two-way interaction analyses.
Results: In both genders, odds of UEMSP were higher with exposure to high physical work demands and emotionally demanding work. Additionally among women, UEMSP were associated with duration of occupational computer exposure, sexual harassment, tense situations when dealing with clients, high quantitative demands and lack of prospects for promotion, and among men, with low coworker support, episodes of unemployment, low job security and contradictory work demands. Among women, the effect of computer work on UEMSP was considerably increased in the presence of emotionally demanding work, and may also be moderated by low recognition at work, contradictory work demands, and low supervisor support.
Conclusions: These results suggest that the relations between UEMSP and computer work are moderated by psychosocial work exposures and that the relations between working conditions and UEMSP are somewhat different for each gender, highlighting the complexity of these relations and the importance of considering gender.

Source: Nicolakakis, Nektaria, Stock, Susan R., Abrahamowicz, Michal, Kline, Rex, & Messing, Karen. (2017). International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health.

Paramedics' working strategies while loading a stretcher into an ambulance

For paramedics, loading a stretcher into an ambulance is an activity with a high risk of back injury and accidents. The objective of this study was to document strategies paramedics use at work while loading a powered stretcher into an ambulance. A total of 249 stretcher loading operations performed by 58 paramedics, and 51 semistructured post-intervention interviews were analyzed. Almost three quarters of loading operations required additional actions (e.g., raising the shoulders and additional lifting) to insert the stretcher into the cot fastener system in the ambulance. Some strategies that were necessary to complete the stretcher loading operation seemed to have negative impacts on the workers' health, such as repositioning the stretcher. This action wastes time and requires significant physical efforts, as it is usually done alone. This study suggests some potential solutions, related to equipment, training, workers and work organization, to reduce the risk of injury while loading stretchers.

Source: Prairie, J., Plamondon, A., Larouche, D., Hegg-Deloye, S., & Corbeil, P. (2017). Applied Ergonomics, 65, 112-122.

Older females in the workforce

The effects of age on psychophysical estimates of maximum acceptable lifting loads
This psychophysical study demonstrated that older female workers (aged 50–63 years) selected maximum acceptable lift masses that were (on average) 24% lower than younger workers (aged 20–32 years), which corresponded with lower grip strength and heart rate reserve. Current maximum acceptable lifting weights based on psychophysical information may not protect female workers greater than 50 years of age.

Source: Chen, J. A., Dickerson, C. R., Wells, R. P., & Laing, A. C. (2017). Ergonomics, 1-34.

Méthode d'analyse de la charge physique de travail - Secteur sanitaire et social

La méthode d'analyse de la charge physique de travail dans le secteur sanitaire et social a été conçue pour être utilisée dans les établissements spécialisés (hôpitaux, cliniques, hébergements pour personnes âgées, handicapés, enfants) et les services d'aide et de soins à domicile. Elle permet de repérer et d'analyser les facteurs de risques pour l'appareil locomoteur en tenant compte de la globalité des composantes de l'activité.
Elle propose une conduite d'action de prévention qui permet d'établir des priorités, d'orienter vers des pistes de prévention pertinentes et d'en évaluer l'efficacité. Elle est applicable dans les structures de toutes tailles. Sa mise en oeuvre peut être initiée par tous les acteurs de la structure, mais son efficacité repose sur une démarche collective.

Source: http://www.inrs.fr/media.html?refINRS=ED%206291

Perceived affordances and postures for lifting in child care

Childcare work appears to be full of the physical and mental risk factors frequently associated with chronic exertion leading to injury of the musculoskeletal system. The purpose of this study was to examine the affordances and mechanics for lifting a child, and to associate those mechanics with physical demands reports provided by experienced childcare workers. Participants perceived a smaller safe reaching distance to a child compared to a conventional handling target, despite the identical load and similar load distribution. This difference may reflect the influence of coupling (suitcase had ‘good' coupling, child manikin had ‘poor' coupling), or an increased concern for the safety of the child over the suitcase. While lifting at a smaller affordant distance could contribute to decreasing spinal loading from reactive moments, the greater trunk and knee flexions observed in child lifting may be contributing to childcare workers' musculoskeletal discomfort and injury in those regions.

Source: Doan, Jon, Awosoga, Olu, Provost, Trishell, Blinch, Jarrod, & Hudson, Jessica. (2017). Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science.

A Study of the Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Surgeons Performing Minimally Invasive Surgery

Introduction: Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has shown significant benefits for patients and healthcare systems. However, due to the poor ergonomic adaptation of operating rooms and surgical instruments, most surgeons suffer from pain caused by musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
Methods: A descriptive survey on MIS surgeons working on different surgical specialties has been carried out in Hospital Valdecilla (Spain). The aim is to determine the prevalence of MSDs by using a personal interview and the standardized Nordic questionnaire (SNQ). The study determines the prevalence of MSDs in different parts of the body and their relationship with epidemiological and labor variables. A questionnaire was filled out by 129 surgeons.
Results: 90% of surgeons reported MSDs. The higher prevalence appears in the most experienced surgeons. The most affected zones are the lower back (54%), neck (51%), upper back (44%), lower extremities (42%), right shoulder (29%) and right hand (28%).
Conclusions: The prevalence of MSDs is higher in MIS surgeons than in any other occupational group. The most vulnerable group is experienced surgeons and there is a potential risk that symptoms will be increased in the future. Muscle strength is revealed as a protective factor against MSDs.

Source: Gutierrez-Diez, M. C., Benito-Gonzalez, M. A., Sancibrian, R., Gandarillas-Gonzalez, M. A., Redondo-Figuero, C., & Manuel-Palazuelos, J. C. (2017). International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 1-19.

Temporal relationships between job strain and low-back pain

To our knowledge this is one of the first studies to examine reciprocal relationships between job strain and back pain and which accounts for time-invariant characteristics. The study highlights a need for more
work to establish if there are bidirectional relationships, with more frequent repeat measurements and which account for time-stable individual factors.

Source: Hanson, L. L. M., Madsen, I. E., Rugulies, R., Peristera, P., Westerlund, H., & Descatha, A. Scandinavian Journal of Work.

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