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Modeling the Effect of the 2018 Revised ACGIH® Hand Activity Threshold Limit Value® (TLV) at Reducing Risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Recent studies have shown the 2001 American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®) Threshold Limit Value (TLV®) for Hand Activity was not sufficiently protective for workers at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). These studies led to a revision of the TLV and Action Limit. This study compares the effect of applying the 2018 TLV vs. the 2001 TLV to predict incident CTS within a large occupational pooled cohort study (n = 4,321 workers). Time from study enrollment to first occurrence of CTS was modeled using Cox proportional hazard regression. Adjusted and unadjusted...
Workplace Interventions can Reduce Sickness Absence for Persons With Work-Related Neck and Upper Extremity Disorders
A One-Year Prospective Cohort Study Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate whether workplace interventions are effective in reducing sickness absence in persons with work-related neck and upper extremity disorders and whether disorder improvement after intervention reduces sickness absence. Methods: This study was a prospective cohort study of workers with work-related neck pain or upper extremity disorders. Data were obtained from the Swedish “Work-related disorders” and “Work environment” surveys. Register data on sickness-absence 1 year after the surveys...
Sex Differences in Glenohumeral Muscle Activation and Coactivation During a Box Lifting Task
Manual material handling is associated with shoulder musculoskeletal disorders, especially for women. Sex differences in glenohumeral muscle activity may contribute to women's higher injury risk by affecting shoulder load and stability. We assessed the effects of sex (25 women vs 26 men) and lifting load (6 kg vs 12 kg) on muscle activation during box lifting from hip to eye level. Surface and intramuscular electromyography were recorded from 10 glenohumeral muscles. Most muscles were more activated for the heavier box and for women. These effects were larger for “prime...
Mechanical and psychosocial work exposures: the construction and evaluation of a gender-specific job exposure matrix (JEM)
Objectives: The aim of this study was to (i) construct and evaluate a gender-specific job exposure matrix (JEM) for mechanical and psychosocial work exposures and (ii) test its predictive validity for low-back pain. Methods: We utilized data from the Norwegian nationwide Survey of Living Conditions on work environment in 2006 and 2009. We classified occupations on a 4-digit level based on the Norwegian version of the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-88). The mechanical and psychosocial exposure information was collected by personal telephone interviews and included exposures...
Exosquelettes au travail : impact sur la santé et la sécurité des opérateurs état des connaissances
Ce guide, destiné aux préventeurs, fait un point sur les connaissances actuelles des exosquelettes afin de mettre en évidence les intérêts et les limites de leur usage en matière de prévention des troubles musculosquelettiques (TMS). L'objectif est d'aider à mieux appréhender l'impact des exosquelettes pour accompagner efficacement l'entreprise dans sa démarche d'acquisition et d'intégration d'un exosquelette. Source: http://www.inrs.fr/media.html?refINRS=ED%206311
Ergonomic interventions for preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb and neck among office workers
Work-related upper limb and neck musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the most common occupational disorders worldwide. Studies have shown that the percentage of office workers that suffer from MSDs ranges from 20 to 60 per cent. The direct and indirect costs of work-related upper limb MSDs have been reported to be high in Europe, Australia, and the United States. Although ergonomic interventions are likely to reduce the risk of office workers developing work-related upper limb and neck MSDs, the evidence is unclear. This is an update of a Cochrane Review which was last published in 2012...
Recurrent back pain during working life and exit from paid employment
A 28-year follow-up of the Whitehall II Study Objectives To examine the impact of recurrent, as compared with single, reports of back pain on exit from paid employment over decades of follow-up. Methods The study sample was from the British Whitehall II Study cohort (n=8665, 69% men, aged 35–55 at baseline), who had provided information about their reports of back pain between 1985 and 1994. Data about exit from paid employment (health-related and non-health related exit, unemployment and other exit) were collected between 1995 and 2013. Repeated measures logistic regression models were fitted...
Bi-directional relation between effort-reward imbalance and risk of neck-shoulder pain
Assessment of mediation through depressive symptoms using occupational longitudinal data Objectives: Bi-directional associations between perceived effort?reward imbalance (ERI) at work and neckshoulder pain have been reported. There is also evidence of associations between ERI and depressive symptoms, and between depressive symptoms and pain while the links between ERI, depressive symptoms and pain have not been tested. We aimed to assess whether depressive symptoms mediate the association between ERI and neck-shoulder pain, as well as the association between neck-shoulder pain and ERI. Methods...
Two-dimensional biomechanical thumb model for pipetting
Manual pipetting imposes repetitive movements, high force, and awkward postures on the thumb, fingers, and wrist, increasing the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. The purpose of this study is to provide a linear regression model to estimate the optimal pipetting grip height based on the two-dimensional biomechanical static thumb model developed in this study. This biomechanical static thumb model uses hand anatomy and static equilibrium conditions to estimate internal tendon forces against a given external force. Based on the model, we conclude that the optimal grip height is 3 cm in males and...
An ergonomic field study to evaluate the effects of a rotatable handle piece on muscular stress and fatigue as well as subjective ratings of usability, wrist posture and precision during laparoscopic surgery
An explorative pilot study Purpose: The interface between surgeon and the laparoscopic instrument is an important factor in biomechanical stress that may increase the risk of musculoskeletal complaints in surgeons. This article investigates the effect of a laparoscopic instrument with a rotatable handle piece (rot-HP) on muscular stress and fatigue during routine laparoscopic procedures (LP) as well as usability, wrist posture and working precision. Methods: 40 LP (subtotal hysterectomies) performed by 11 surgeons were investigated. 20 LP were carried out with the rot-HP and 20 with a fixed (standard...
The influence of external load configuration on trunk biomechanics and spinal loading during sudden loading
Sudden loading is a major risk factor for work-related lower back injuries among occupations involving manual material handling (MMH). The current study explored the effects of external weight configuration on trunk biomechanics and trunk rotational stiffness in the sagittal plane during sudden loading. Fifteen asymptomatic volunteers experienced sudden loadings using the same magnitude of weight (9 kg) with two different configurations (medially- or laterally-distributed) at three levels of height (low, middle and high). Results of this study showed that the medially distributed weight...
Surveillance de la lombalgie en lien avec le travail
Comparaison de quatre sources de données et perspectives pour la prévention •Quatre sources de données sur les lombalgies en lien avec le travail sont comparées dans les Pays de la Loire : trois issues du réseau multi-volets de surveillance épidémiologique des TMS de Santé publique France et de l’Université d’Angers, et une issue du système de réparation des maladies professionnelles de l’Assurance maladie. •Pour chaque source, les secteurs d’activité prioritaires pour la prévention...
Occupational biomechanical risk factors for surgically treated ulnar nerve entrapment in a prospective study of male construction workers
Evidence was provided for forceful hand-grip work, with and without vibration, as a risk factor for ulnar nerve entrapment (UNE) surgery in a large cohort of Swedish construction workers. Several individual biomechanical factors comprising such work were associated with increased risk of UNE, including: increased grip force, upper extremity load, frequency of hand-held tool use, and hand arm vibration. Source: Jackson, J. A., Olsson, D., Punnett, L., Burdorf, A., Järvholm, B. et Wahlström, J. (2018). Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health . http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh...
The impact of workplace ergonomics and neck-specific exercise versus ergonomics and health promotion interventions on office worker productivity
A cluster-randomized trial A 12-week workplace combined ergonomics and neck-specific exercise intervention improves sickness presenteeism and monetized health-related productivity loss among a general population of office workers and longer-term sickness absenteeism for those with neck pain, when compared to ergonomics and health promotion education combined. This study provides employers of office workers sought-after evidence of health-related productivity benefit from such workplace interventions. Source: Pereira, M., Comans, T., Sjøgaard, G., Straker, L., Melloh, M., O'Leary, S....
Hand forces exerted by long-term care staff when pushing wheelchairs on compliant and non-compliant flooring
Purpose-designed compliant flooring and carpeting have been promoted as a means for reducing fall-related injuries in high-risk environments, such as long-term care. However, it is not known whether these surfaces influence the forces that long-term care staff exert when pushing residents in wheelchairs. We studied 14 direct-care staff who pushed a loaded wheelchair instrumented with a triaxial load cell to test the effects on hand force of flooring overlay (vinyl versus carpet) and flooring subfloor (concrete versus compliant rubber [brand: SmartCells]). During straight-line pushing, carpet overlay...
The influence of job rotation and task order on muscle responses in females
Job rotation aims to reduce muscle fatigue by switching between functionally different tasks to theoretically lessen the risk of site-specific fatigue and work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). The effectiveness of job rotation in mitigating the onset of muscle fatigue is partially known, but there is limited ergonomic data on female populations despite comparatively lower upper body strength and increased risk of WMSDs. Rotating between two functionally different tasks, continuing a single task, and varying task order were assessed in the present study for influence on muscle fatigue...
Surface electromyography for risk assessment in work activities designed using the “revised NIOSH lifting equation”
The aims of this study were: to identify surface electromyography (sEMG)-based indices of trunk muscles acquired during the execution of lifting tasks designed using the revised NIOSH lifting equation and featuring a progressively increasing lifting index (LI); to study changes of these indices in relation to the LI; to evaluate the relationship between the identified indices and forces (FL5−S1) and moments (ML5−S1) at the L5-S1 joint. sEMG, kinematic and kinetic data of 20 male workers were recorded in three conditions. We computed the average rectified value (ARV), root mean square...
How does the biomechanical exposure of the upper body in manual box handling differ from exposure in other tasks in the real industrial context?
The assessment of biomechanical exposure during handling tasks in relation to other activities that are performed in industrial settings can be crucial to understand the biomechanical demands of manual box handling for the upper limbs. This study aims to evaluate the representativeness of the handling task to the upper body in comparison with the other tasks in a real setting, compare the biomechanical exposure between tasks, and identify the differences in exposure during manual box handling from job exposure. Twelve workers had biomechanical exposure assessed through trapezius muscle activity...
Elongation of the surface of the spine during lifting and lowering, and implications for design of an upper body industrial exoskeleton
The aim of this study was to assess the elongation of the skin surface of the spine for simulated industrial lifting and lowering tasks to aid the design of industrial exoskeletons worn on the back. Eighteen male participants lifted and lowered a box of varying loads (5?kg, 10?kg, 15?kg) using three techniques (squat, semi-squat, stooped) from the ground to a table. Motion capture sensors attached to the spine from C7 to S1 measured movement. Stoop lifting involved significantly more elongation (mean 71.1?mm; margin of error ±6.9) than squat lifting (mean 36.8?mm; margin of error ±6...
Effects of standing on typing task performance and upper limb discomfort, vascular and muscular indicators
Standing is a popular alternative to traditionally seated computer work. However, no studies have described how standing impacts both upper body muscular and vascular outcomes during a computer typing task. Twenty healthy adults completed two 90-min simulated work sessions, seated or standing. Upper limb discomfort, electromyography (EMG) from eight upper body muscles, typing performance and neck/shoulder and forearm blood flow were collected. Results showed significantly less upper body discomfort and higher typing speed during standing. Lower Trapezius EMG amplitude was higher during standing...
Visual and psychological stress during computer work in healthy, young females - physiological responses
Purpose: Among computer workers, visual complaints, and neck pain are highly prevalent. This study explores how occupational simulated stressors during computer work, like glare and psychosocial stress, affect physiological responses in young females with normal vision. Methods: The study was a within-subject laboratory experiment with a counterbalanced, repeated design. Forty-three females performed four 10-min computer-work sessions with different stress exposures: (1) minimal stress; (2) visual stress (direct glare); (3) psychological stress; and (4) combined visual and psychological stress...
Dose-response relationship between cumulative physical workload and osteoarthritis of the hip
A meta-analysis applying an external reference population for exposure assignment Background: There is consistent evidence from observational studies of an association between occupational lifting and carrying of heavy loads and the diagnosis of hip osteoarthritis. However, due to the heterogeneity of exposure estimates considered in single studies, a dose-response relationship between cumulative physical workload and hip osteoarthritis could not be determined so far. Methods: This study aimed to analyze the dose-response relationship between cumulative physical workload and hip osteoarthritis...
Effectiveness of a vacuum lifting system in reducing spinal load during airline baggage handling
Information on spinal loading for using lift assist systems for airport baggage handling is lacking. We conducted a laboratory study to evaluate a vacuum lift system for reducing lumbar spinal loads during baggage loading/unloading tasks. Ten subjects performed the tasks using the industry average baggage weight of 14.5?kg on a typical two-shelved baggage cart with or without using the lift system (i.e. lifting technique). Repeated measures analysis of variance (2 tasks × 2 shelf heights x 2 techniques) was used. Spinal loads were estimated by an electromyography-driven biomechanical model...
Risk factors for episodic neck pain in workers
A 5-year prospective study of a general working population Purpose: Development of neck pain (NP) in workers has a multifactorial etiology and depends on both individual and workplace factors. The aim of this study was to investigate risk factors for episodic NP in a large diverse sample of active workers. Methods: A prospective study based on the surveillance program implemented by the French Public Health Agency in the Loire Valley region. Between 2002 and 2005, 3710 workers were included. Between 2007 and 2010, 2332 workers responded to a follow-up questionnaire which assessed: (1) musculoskeletal...
Effects of work surface and task difficulty on neck-shoulder posture and trapezius activity during a simulated mouse task
Objectives. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the influence of the work surface and task difficulty on the head, upper back and upper arm postures and activity of the descending trapezius during a simulated mouse task. Methods. Healthy female university students (N = 15) were evaluated. The work surface was positioned at elbow height (EH) and above elbow height (AEH) and the task difficulty was set at low (LD) and high (HD) levels. The postures were recorded by inclinometers. Trapezius activity was normalized by the maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC). Results. Significantly...
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