Anthropometry of the Canadian adult population

Developing comprehensive, updated normative-reference standards
Introduction: Applications of structural anthropometric measurements include user-centered design, health risk appraisal and assessment of biological maturity. It is important that anthropometric normative-reference standards are current, comprehensive, and population specific. Previous work by Pheasant (1996) included thirty-six anthropometric measurements to create a comprehensive and comparable list of data. However, Canadian studies have included nineteen or less body dimensions, and relatively small sample sizes. The aims of this investigation were to create current and comprehensive anthropometric normative-reference standards for a young Canadian adult population and to analyze the differences in anthropometric data between subjects in this study and those of a previous study on a similar population.
Methods: Thirty-six structural body dimensions were manually measured on a sample size of 197 male and 204 female Ontario, Canada university-aged subjects. Descriptive statistics were reported based on sex and independent samples t-tests were used to compare the anthropometric dimensions of the current study with that of a similar, previous study on Nova Scotia, Canada university-aged subjects.
Results: Percentiles and standard deviations of the subjects' 36 body dimensions were tabulated and are reported based on sex. For example, male and female 50th percentile values for stature are 1783?mm and 1641?mm, respectively. All differences in body dimensions between both male populations were statistically significant at p?<?0.01. All but four differences in body dimensions between both female populations were statistically significant at p?<?0.01.
Discussion & Conclusions: The current study was able to present anthropometric normative-reference standards of a large Canadian sample that are more comprehensive and current than known to exist. Moreover, as there were many significant differences between the current (Ontario) and previous (Nova Scotia) populations' anthropometric data, it is suggested that a Canada wide study be investigated.

Source: Deneau, J., van Wyk, P. M., Mallender, M. et Duquette, A. (2018). International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 68, 199-204.

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 ont été identifés à partir des taux de fréquence par secteurs d’activité et de l’indice de prévention, puis les résultats ont été comparés entre sources.
•Chez les hommes, les secteurs de la construction, de l’industrie manufacturière, des transports et communications et de l’agriculture ressortaient pour les 4 sources amenant à les cibler prioritairement pour les actions de prévention alors que chez les femmes, le secteur de l’industrie manufacturière, le secteur de la santé, action sociale, et le secteur du commerce devaient être prioritaires en termes d’actions de prévention des lomboradiculalgies.
•Les résultats sont cohérents et complémentaires, cependant l’utilisation d’une source unique pour la surveillance nationale des lombalgies pour orienter la prévention ne refèterait qu’un aspect du problème.
•Au niveau national, l’utilisation combinée de plusieurs sources de surveillance, chacune avec sa pertinence et ses limites, permet de détecter les secteurs d’activité à cibler de façon prioritaire et mettre en oeuvre des programmes de prévention.
•D’autres indicateurs, et notamment les arrêts de travail prolongés et le coût engendré par ces arrêts, auraient tout leur intérêt pour la surveillance nationale des lombalgies en lien avec le travail utile pour la mise en place de programmes de prévention.


Overall risk index for patient transfers in total assistance mode executed by emergency medical technician-paramedics in real work situations

Few studies have quantified the risk of musculoskeletal disorders during patient transfers in total assistance mode in real-life prehospital emergency care situations. An index to assess the overall risk of patient transfers was created; it makes it possible to quantify risk based on the patient's position and the height of the patient's location. An analysis of 71 transfers executed by paramedics in actual work situations showed that moving a patient from the ground was characterized by acute sagittal flexions and axial rotations, respectively, 42% and 12% of the time. When the patient was lying on a raised surface, the lifting index and perceived exertion were the lowest (2.55; easy). According to the overall risk index, patient transfers from the ground are the riskiest. Paramedics execute many risky lifts even in favorable patient handling contexts.

Source: Larouche, D., Bellemare, M., Prairie, J., Hegg-Deloye, S. et Corbeil, P. (2019). Applied Ergonomics, 74, 177-185.

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.

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., ... et Johnston, V. (2018). Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health.

Economic evaluation of a randomized controlled trial of an intervention to reduce office workers’ sitting time: the "Stand Up Victoria" trial

Multicomponent intervention involving a sit-and-stand desk can reduce sitting time and increase the standing and stepping time during the working hours for office-based workers, and it is likely to promote the cardiovascular fitness. It is cost-effective in the long-term from a societal perspective. This study provides important evidence for policy-makers and workplaces regarding allocation of resources to reduce workplace sitting.

Source: Gao, L., Flego, A., Dunstan, D. W., Winkler, E. A., Healy, G. N., Eakin, E. G., ... et Wiesner, G. H. (2018). Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health.

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 increased initial and sustained hand forces compared to vinyl overlay by 22–49% over a concrete subfloor and by 8–20% over a compliant subfloor. Compliant subflooring increased initial and sustained hand forces compared to concrete subflooring by 18–31% when under a vinyl overlay. In contrast, compliant flooring caused no change in initial or sustained hand forces compared to concrete subflooring when under a carpet overlay.

Source: Lachance, C. C., Korall, A. M., Russell, C. M., Feldman, F., Robinovitch, S. N. et Mackey, D. C. (2018). Applied ergonomics, 71, 95-101.

Conceptual frameworks for the workplace change adoption process

Elements integration from decision making and learning cycle process
Sound workplace ergonomics and safety-related interventions may be resisted by employees, and this may be detrimental to multiple stakeholders. Understanding fundamental aspects of decision-making, behavioural change, and learning cycles may provide insights into pathways influencing employees' acceptance of interventions. This manuscript reviews published literature on thinking processes and other topics relevant to decision making and incorporates the findings into two new conceptual frameworks of the workplace change adoption process. Such frameworks are useful for thinking about adoption in different ways and testing changes to traditional intervention implementation processes. Moving forward, it is recommended that future research focuses on systematic exploration of implementation process activities that integrate principles from the research literature on sense-making, decision-making, and learning processes. Such exploration may provide the groundwork for development of specific implementation strategies that are theoretically grounded and provide a revised understanding of how successful intervention adoption processes work.

Source: Radin Umar, R. Z., Sommerich, C. M., Lavender, S. A., Sanders, E. et Evans, K. D. (2018). Ergonomics.

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 indicators in a female population. Participants performed a randomized set of four task combinations involving two unilateral, repetitive shoulder tasks (forward flexion and internal rotation). During these combinations, maximal voluntary force, mean power frequency, average EMG (aEMG) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded. Differences between task combinations and time were tested using a two-way repeated measures ANOVA. Indications of fatigue were limited in the results. Forward flexion (p?=?0.004) and internal rotation (p?=?0.002) maximum voluntary force declined in all task combinations while RPE increased (p?<?0.0001); non-rotating task combinations had the greatest declines in force and increases in RPE. Results from EMG amplitude were less clear, and were muscle and task specific. While non-rotating task combinations had the greatest decrements in aEMG submaximal force, rotating task combinations often had similar decrements, creating limited statistical differences. Changes in aEMG were too small to distinguish an order effect. The EMG results suggest muscular demand overlap between the two tasks, despite being functionally different. The effectiveness of job rotation is partially dependent on selecting tasks that engage distinct muscle groups.

Source: Dickhout, K. D., MacLean, K. F. et Dickerson, C. R. (2018). International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 68, 15-24.

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 (RMS) and maximum value (Max) of twelve trunk muscles and the muscle co-activation. We also estimated FL5−S1 and ML5−S1. One-way repeated-measures ANOVA and post-hoc analysis showed that sEMG-based indices values increased with LI increment of 1 (LI?=?l, 2 and 3). sEMG and kinetic parameters were linearly correlated.
Findings suggest a promising use of wearable sEMG sensors in developing instrumental-based risk assessment tools in either the laboratory or workplace. In fact, some indices discriminate the investigated risk levels and correlate with the variables that generate the damage.

Source: Ranavolo, A., Varrecchia, T., Iavicoli, S., Marchesi, A., Rinaldi, M., Serrao, M., ... et Draicchio, F. (2018). International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 68, 34-45.

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 and posture recordings (upper back and upper arms) during 4?h of a regular working day. Handling tasks demonstrated the highest biomechanical demand to the upper body, particularly for peak loads of the upper trapezius activation and upper back forward flexion postures. However, handling tasks were also associated with a high exposure variation. Interventions aiming to decrease loads in handling tasks can be relevant to decreasing peak loads and avoiding musculoskeletal disorders on the upper limbs.

Source: Nogueira, H. C., Locks, F., Barbieri, D. F. et Oliveira, A. B. (2018). International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 68, 8-14.

Workplace interventions for reducing sitting at work

Background: A large number of people are employed in sedentary occupations. Physical inactivity and excessive sitting at workplaces have been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and all-cause mortality.
Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of workplace interventions to reduce sitting at work compared to no intervention or alternative interventions.

Source: Shrestha, N., Kukkonen-Harjula, K.T., Verbeek, J.H., Ijaz, S., Hermans, V. et Pedisic, Z. (2018). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 6.

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 ±6.9). Load and Task (lift vs. lower) did not have a significant effect on elongation. Elongation of the skin surface of the lumbar spine was greater than for the thoracic spine. These data detail example levels of elongation of the skin surface of the spine, which should be considered in upper body wearable industrial exoskeleton design. Further, exoskeleton design should take into account that the skin surface of the lumbar spine involves greater elongation than the skin surface of the thoracic spine during deep lifting.

Source: Huysamen, K., Power, V. et O'Sullivan, L. (2018). Applied ergonomics, 72, 10-16.

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, but this postural difference decreased with time (interaction effect), and its variability was 68% higher during standing compared to sitting. There were no effects on blood flow. Results suggest that standing computer work may engage shoulder girdle stabilizers while reducing discomfort and improving performance. Studies are needed to identify how standing affects more complex computer tasks over longer work bouts in symptomatic workers.

Source: Fedorowich, L. M. et Côté, J. N. (2018). Applied ergonomics, 72, 121-127.

The effect of a passive trunk exoskeleton on functional performance in healthy individuals

The objective of this study was to assess the effect of a passive trunk exoskeleton on functional performance for various work related tasks in healthy individuals.
18 healthy men performed 12 tasks. Functional performance in each task was assessed based on objective outcome measures and subjectively in terms of perceived task difficulty, local and general discomfort.
Wearing the exoskeleton tended to increase objective performance in static forward bending, but decreased performance in tasks, such as walking, carrying and ladder climbing. A significant decrease was found in perceived task difficulty and local discomfort in the back in static forward bending, but a significant increase of perceived difficulty in several other tasks, like walking, squatting and wide standing. Especially tasks that involved hip flexion were perceived more difficult with the exoskeleton.
Design improvements should include provisions to allow full range of motion of hips and trunk to increase versatility and user acceptance.

Source: Baltrusch, S. J., van Dieën, J. H., van Bennekom, C. A. M. et Houdijk, H. (2018). Applied ergonomics, 72, 94-106.

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. Muscle activity and muscle blood flow in trapezius, muscle blood flow in orbicularis oculi, heart rate, blood pressure, blink rate and postural angles were continuously recorded. Immediately after each computer-work session, fixation disparity was measured and a questionnaire regarding perceived workstation lighting and stress was completed.
Results: Exposure to direct glare resulted in increased trapezius muscle blood flow, increased blink rate, and forward bending of the head. Psychological stress induced a transient increase in trapezius muscle activity and a more forward-bent posture. Bending forward towards the computer screen was correlated with higher productivity (reading speed), indicating a concentration or stress response. Forward bent posture was also associated with changes in fixation disparity. Furthermore, during computer work per se, trapezius muscle activity and blood flow, orbicularis oculi muscle blood flow, and heart rate were increased compared to rest.
Conclusions: Exposure to glare and psychological stress during computer work were shown to influence the trapezius muscle, posture, and blink rate in young, healthy females with normal binocular vision, but in different ways. Accordingly, both visual and psychological factors must be taken into account when optimizing computer workstations to reduce physiological responses that may cause excessive eyestrain and musculoskeletal load.

Source: Mork, R., Falkenberg, H. K., Fostervold, K. I. et Thorud, H. M. S. (2018). International archives of occupational and environmental health.

Blood Pressure Response to Interrupting Workplace Sitting Time With Non-Exercise Physical Activity

Results of a 12-month Cohort Study
Objective: To evaluate the blood pressure (BP) effects of a yearlong e-health solution designed to interrupt prolonged occupational sitting time.
Methods: BP data of 228 desk-based employees (45.1 ± 10.5 years) were analyzed at baseline, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.
Results: Systolic BP significantly reduced from baseline for the first 9 months (1.0 to 3.4 mmHg; P < 0.01) while diastolic and mean arterial pressure decreased for the full 12-months (4 to 5 mmHg for diastolic pressure and 3.6 to 4.2 mmHg for MAP; all P < 0.01).
Participants used the e-health solution 5.5 ± 2.0 times/day in the first 3 months which reduced to 4.2 ± 2.5 times/day by the end of the study (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: An e-health solution designed to increase non-exercise physical activity by interrupting sitting time in the workplace is feasible and produced long-term reductions in blood pressure.

Source: Mainsbridge, C., Ahuja, K., Williams, A., Bird, M. L., Cooley, D. et Pedersen, S. J. (2018). Journal of occupational and environmental medicine.

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 by replacing the exposure categories of the included studies with cumulative exposure values of an external reference population. Our meta-regression analysis was based on a recently conducted systematic review (Bergmann A, Bolm-Audorff U, Krone D, Seidler A, Liebers F, Haerting J, Freiberg A, Unverzagt S, Dtsch Arztebl Int 114:581–8, 2017). The main analysis of our meta-regression comprised six case-control studies for men and five for women. The population control subjects of a German multicentre case-control study (Seidler A, Bergmann A, Jäger M, Ellegast R, Ditchen D, Elsner G, Grifka J, Haerting J, Hofmann F, Linhardt O, Luttmann A, Michaelis M, Petereit-Haack G, Schumann B, Bolm-Audorff U, BMC Musculoskelet Disord 10:48, 2009) served as the reference population. Based on the sex-specific cumulative exposure percentiles of the reference population, we assigned exposure values to each category of the included studies using three different cumulative exposure parameters. To estimate the doubling dose (the amount of physical workload to double the risk of hip osteoarthritis) on the basis of all available case-control-studies, meta-regression analyses were conducted based on the linear association between exposure values of the reference population and the logarithm of reported odds ratios (ORs) from the included studies.
Results: In men, the risk to develop hip osteoarthritis was increased by an OR of 1.98 (95% CI 1.20–3.29) per 10,000 tons of weights ≥20 kg handled, 2.08 (95% CI 1.22–3.53) per 10,000 tons handled > 10 times per day and 8.64 (95% CI 1.87–39.91) per 106 operations. These estimations result in doubling dosages of 10,100 tons of weights ≥20 kg handled, 9500 tons ≥20 kg handled > 10 times per day and 321,400 operations of weights ≥20 kg. There was no linear association between manual handling of weights at work and risk to develop hip osteoarthritis in women.
Conclusions: Under specific conditions, the application of an external reference population allows for the derivation of a dose-response relationship despite high exposure heterogeneities in the pooled studies.

Source: Seidler, A., Lüben, L., Hegewald, J., Bolm-Audorff, U., Bergmann, A., Liebers, F., ... et Unverzagt, S. (2018). BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 19(1).

Aide et soin à la personne - Dossier

En France, plus de 3,5 millions de professionnels travaillent dans l'aide et le soin à la personne. Ce secteur, qui emploie majoritairement du personnel féminin, est toujours en pleine croissance et marqué par une grande diversité d'acteurs. Certains exercent en établissement, d'autres au domicile d'un bénéficiaire avec, d'un lieu à l'autre, des conditions d'intervention et des moyens extrêmement variables.

Source: (2018). Travail & sécurité (794).à%20la%20personne.html

Appropriation et transfert par des formateurs d’une nouvelle approche de prévention en manutention axée sur l’utilisation de principes d’action

Prenant acte du constat d'échec des formations à la manutention axées sur l'enseignement exclusif de la technique sécuritaire « dos droit – genoux fléchis », une nouvelle approche d'intervention dite « stratégie intégrée de prévention en manutention » (SIPM) a été proposée en 2011. Son originalité repose, entre autres, sur l'utilisation de neuf principes d'action permettant de comprendre et de commenter la richesse des techniques de manutention utilisées naturellement par les manutentionnaires dans leur milieu de travail. L'étude a pour objectif central d'évaluer l'appropriation et le transfert de la SIPM par un groupe d'intervenants formés à cette approche lors d'interventions naturelles en contextes réels.


Ergonomic and psychosocial factors and musculoskeletal complaints in public sector administration

A joint monitoring approach with analysis of association
Administration entails a high level of computerization with multiple risk factors (including psychosocial and of ergonomic nature), affecting worker health and well-being. An ergonomics researcher supported by a senior ergonomist and guided by a domain specific checklist assessed physical ergonomics of an organization, including 96 administrative workers in the assessment. Unstructured observations and interviews to the workers were also done. Socio-demographic, musculoskeletal health and psychosocial job data was collected from a composite questionnaire including the versions validated for the Portuguese population of the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) and the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ). This paper demonstrates an approach to jointly monitor multiple factors to support controlling work system efficiency, safeguarding health. Even though postural issues, especially static posture, have previously been identified as risk factors contributing to the onset of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), the results of correlation analysis did not unveil a salient association between musculoskeletal complaints and ergonomic mismatches. The analysis did unveil statistically significant associations between exposure to psychosocial job factors and ergonomic risk factors. The pairs of variables actually associated were different according to gender confirming the need for future studies aiming the gendered study of MSD causality."

Source: Lima, T. M. et Coelho, D. A. (2018). International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 66, 85-94.

Impact of a Safe Resident Handling Program in Nursing Homes on Return-to-Work and Re-injury Outcomes Following Work Injury

Purpose: This study examined the impact of a Safe Resident Handling Program (SRHP) on length of disability and re-injury, following work-related injuries of nursing home workers. Resident handling-related injuries and back injuries were of particular interest. Methods: A large national nursing home corporation introduced a SRHP followed by three years of training for 136 centers. Lost-time workers' compensation claims (3 years pre-SRHP and 6 years post-SRHP) were evaluated. For each claim, length of first episode of disability and recurrence of disabling injury were evaluated over time. Differences were assessed using Chi square analyses and a generalized linear model, and “avoided” costs were projected. Results: The SRHP had no impact on length of disability, but did appear to significantly reduce the rate of recurrence among resident handling-related injuries. As indemnity and medical costs were three times higher for claimants with recurrent disabling injuries, the SRHP resulted in significant “avoided” costs due to “avoided” recurrence. Conclusions: In addition to reducing overall injury rates, SRHPs appear to improve long-term return-to-work success by reducing the rate of recurrent disabling injuries resulting in work disability. In this study, the impact was sustained over years, even after a formal training and implementation program ended. Since back pain is inherently a recurrent condition, results suggest that SRHPs help workers remain at work and return-to-work.

Source: Kurowski, A., Pransky, G. et Punnett, L. (2018). Journal of occupational rehabilitation.

Associations of office workers’ objectively assessed occupational sitting, standing and stepping time with musculoskeletal symptoms

We examined the association of musculoskeletal symptoms (MSS) with workplace sitting, standing and stepping time, as well as sitting and standing time accumulation (i.e. usual bout duration of these activities), measured objectively with the activPAL3 monitor. Using baseline data from the Stand Up Victoria trial (216 office workers, 14 workplaces), cross-sectional associations of occupational activities with self-reported MSS (low-back, upper and lower extremity symptoms in the last three months) were examined using probit regression, correcting for clustering and adjusting for confounders. Sitting bout duration was significantly (p < 0.05) associated, non-linearly, with MSS, such that those in the middle tertile displayed the highest prevalence of upper extremity symptoms. Other associations were non-significant but sometimes involved large differences in symptom prevalence (e.g. 38%) by activity. Though causation is unclear, these non-linear associations suggest that sitting and its alternatives (i.e. standing and stepping) interact with MSS and this should be considered when designing safe work systems.

Source: Coenen, P., Healy, G. N., Winkler, E. A., Dunstan, D. W., Owen, N., Moodie, M., ... et Straker, L. M. (2018). Ergonomics.

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. On average, the vacuum lift system reduced spinal compressive forces on the lumbar spine by 39% and below the 3400?N damage threshold. The system also resulted in a 25% reduction in the anterior-posterior shear force at the L5/S1 inferior endplate level. This study provides evidence for the potential to reduce spinal loads when using a vacuum lift system.

Source: Lu, M. L., Dufour, J. S., Weston, E. B. et Marras, W. S. (2018). Applied Ergonomics, 70, 247-252.

Facteurs organisationnels et psychosociaux associés aux contraintes posturales en milieu professionnel

Résultats à partir de l'enquête Sumer 2010
Contexte: Parmi les contraintes biomécaniques associées aux troubles musculo-squelettiques (TMS), les contraintes posturales (CP) font partie des plus fréquemment observées chez les travailleurs. L'objectif de cette étude était d'évaluer les associations entre l'exposition à des facteurs organisationnels et psychosociaux et celle à au moins une CP ≥10 h par semaine dans la population salariée française.
Méthodes: Cette étude s'appuie sur les données de l'enquête Sumer 2010. Les caractéristiques socioprofessionnelles et organisationnelles étaient renseignées par le médecin du travail et les facteurs psychosociaux par le salarié lui-même à l'aide d'un auto-questionnaire. Les associations entre les facteurs organisationnels et psychosociaux et l'exposition à une CP ont été explorées à l'aide de régressions logistiques.
Résultats: L'exposition à au moins une CP ≥10 h par semaine était relevée chez 14% des hommes et 12% des femmes. Les contraintes industrielles, les normes de production ainsi que le manque de flexibilité, la surveillance hiérarchique et la polyvalence des postes de travail étaient positivement associées à l'exposition à une CP, quel que soit le genre. De même, un environnement psychosocial délétère (faible soutien social, faibles utilisation et développement des compétences et forte demande psychologique) était associé à un risque accru d'exposition à une CP.
Conclusion: Ces résultats suggèrent la nécessité de prendre en compte les dimensions organisationnelles et psychosociales, au-delà des facteurs biomécaniques et socioprofessionnels, dans la prévention des TMS en milieu professionnel.

Source: Bertin M, Natacha Fouquet, Léonard M, Chazelle E, Roquelaure Y. (2018). Bull Epidémiol Hebd, (12-13):228-33.?

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