The aim of our work was to study the accidents and close call situations connected to the use of mobile phones. We have analyzed how the accidents/close call situations are connected to background information, in particular age, gender and self-reported symptoms. The study was carried out as a cross-sectional study by posting the questionnaire to 15,000 working-age Finns. The responses (6121) were analyzed using the logistic regression models. Altogether 13.7% of respondents had close call situations and 2.4% had accidents at leisure, in which the mobile phone had a partial effect, and at work the amounts were 4.5% and 0.4% respectively, during the last 12 months. Essentially, we found that: (1) men tend to have more close calls and accidents while on a mobile phone, (2) younger people tend to have more accidents and close calls while on a mobile phone, but it does not appear to be large enough to warrant intervention, (3) employed people tend to have more problems with mobile phone usage and accidents/close calls, and (4) there was a slight increase in mobile-phone-related accidents/close calls if the respondent also reported sleep disturbances and minor aches and pains. In the future, it is important to take into account and study how symptoms can increase the risk of accidents or close call situations in which a mobile phone has a partial effect.
"Human error" is often cited as cause of occupational mishaps and industrial accidents. Human error, however, can also be seen as an effect (rather than the cause) of trouble deeper inside systems. The latter perspective is called the "new view" in ergonomics today. This paper details some of the antecedents and implications of the old and the new view, indicating that human error is a judgment made in hindsight, whereas actual performance makes sense to workers at the time. Support for the new view is drawn from recent research into accidents as emergent phenomena without clear "root causes;" where deviance has become a generally accepted standard of normal operations; and where organizations reveal "messy interiors" no matter whether they are predisposed to an accident or not.
A new agrarian policy in a number of countries caused the necessity to introduce additional measures aimed at preventing of agricultural workers' health. The epidemiological studies in the Ukraine revealed the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (ischemic heart disease, arterial hypertension) particularly among operators of agricultural machines and workers being in contact with pesticides. The state of health of women working in greenhouses and those in sugar beet growing is assessed. The rate of spontaneous abortions and other pregnancy disorders as well as the retardation in physical development of newborns and infants are evaluated. The necessity to improve the ergonomy of agricultural machines, to increase their quality and reliability is emphasized. The search of physiological optimum of efforts to steering wheel and pedals is given as an example. This approach is of general significance and can be applied to road-building machines as well. The role of pesticide management in the Ukraine is also considered in this paper. The damage to human health and the environment is most often connected with violations of regulations, or persistent usage of highly toxic substances. The most urgent tasks are the revision of the registered and applied pesticides, development of new ecological and hygienic standards, improvement of biomonitoring methods and efficiency of the state sanitary supervision.
OBJECTIVES: To describe workers with low back symptoms, to identify risk factors and to assess the occupational consequences separately in men and women. METHODS: A descriptive study was conducted between 1 October 1996 and 31 December 1996 in a sample of workers selected at random from all types of small companies in the Paris area. A group of 202 occupational physicians interviewed 7129 workers with a standardised questionnaire including the Nordic questionnaire. Data analysis was performed by sex in the two groups: with low back pain and without low back pain over the previous 12 months. The group with low back pain was then divided into four subgroups: mild cases (without referred pain), moderate cases (with referred pain above the knee), serious cases (with referred pain below the knee), and low back pain with occupational consequences. RESULTS: 7010 questionnaires were able to be evaluated. The sample consisted of 54.8% of men (3842) and 45.2% of women (3168), with a mean age of 37.8 and 37.0 years, respectively (p 10 kg, in women (OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.27 to 2.25) and in men (OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.53), uncomfortable working positions (OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.58 to 2.17 and OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.69 to 2.43), and absence of means to achieve good quality work (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.63 and OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.65), respectively. Driving was a risk factor only in men and its importance increased with driving time (driving > 4 hours a day (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.24 to 2.09)). Severe low back pain was linked to female sex (10.2% of women v 6.6% of men), high BMI, aging, and uncomfortable working positions. Low back pain with occupational consequences (n = 258) was not linked to sex, but only to aging and severity. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence and severity of low back pain were higher in women, although they seemed to be less exposed to known occupational risk factors. However, our results indicate a preponderance of these risk factors among female workers. Particular attention must therefore be paid to lifting of weights and uncomfortable working positions in female jobs (clerk, trading, health care staff).
Three-fourths of diagnostic medical sonographers (DMS) and vascular technologists (VT) experiencing discomfort due to job demands indicate having discomfort in the shoulder region. An analysis of factors related to shoulder discomfort highlighted salient factors requiring further investigation and intervention.
The respondents were a convenient sample of DMS and VT that answered a survey, hosted on a secure website.
The responses of 2,163 DMS and VT from a survey of a representative sample were analyzed to determine personal factors, work demands, and workstation design characteristics of those experiencing discomfort in the shoulder region. Frequencies and response distributions were calculated and cross tabulation with chi-square analysis was completed.
A majority of respondents with shoulder discomfort have co-morbid reports of discomfort in other locations. While overall sonographer discomfort is linked to age and years of experience, shoulder discomfort was also noted to be linked to specific workstation characteristics. A lack of adjustability in equipment, picture archiving and communication system (PACS) workstations, and positions required to complete bedside exams contributes to discomfort due to sustained and repetitive shoulder abduction and twisting of the neck and trunk.
There is a need for studies investigating redesign of equipment and workstations or interventions with DMS and VT specifically focused on improving adjustability and improved positioning of sonographers in order to reduce shoulder discomfort while performing job demands.
We assess the costs and consequences of a participatory ergonomics process at a Canadian car parts manufacturer from the perspective of the firm.
Regression modeling was used with interrupted time series data to assess the impact of the process on several health measures. Consequences were kept in natural units for cost-effectiveness analysis, and translated into monetary units for cost-benefit analysis.
The duration of disability insurance claims and the number of denied workers' compensation claims was significantly reduced. The cost-effectiveness ratio is $12.06 per disability day averted. The net present value is $244,416 for a 23-month period with a benefit-to-cost ratio of 10.6, suggesting that the process was worth undertaking (monetary units in 2001 Canadian dollars).
Our findings emphasize the importance of considering a range of outcomes when evaluating an occupational health and safety intervention.
Participatory ergonomics process can be cost-effective for a firm.
Canada is considering the development of a new standard for infant/child life jackets. Eight currently available (approved and non-approved) infant/child life jackets were procured for evaluation. Fifty-six participants were chosen as a sample of convenience from the general public for testing. The life jackets were divided into two groups of four, which were donned on a soft infant manikin procured from the Red Cross. In 224 attempts at donning, only 43 (19%) attempts resulted in the life jacket being donned correctly in less than 1 min. Only one life jacket came close to a good design and passed the life jacket standard for donning time and accuracy. Failure rates were observed across all the participants irrespective of age, gender, experience with children and experience with recreational marine equipment. Accuracy and speed of donning the life jacket were hampered as the number of donning sub-tasks increased. It was concluded that it is possible to design a life jacket that can be donned correctly in under 1 min. The life jacket must be of simple, intuitive design and fall naturally into the anatomical shape of the child. A minimum number of ties, zips and clips should be used in the design, and if such connectors are used they should be color coded or of different shapes and sizes to avoid confusion.
The aim of the study was to present and evaluate a work-task-oriented interview technique focusing on the placement of the hands relative to the body and assessing per cent time spent in five standard work postures during a working day.
The reproducibility of estimated time spent in each work posture was tested by the test-retest method in 32 subjects; 16 were interviewed by the same interviewer and 16 were interviewed by another one at the retest. The validity concerning estimated time spent in th five standard work postures was tested in relation to observations in 58 male blue-collar workers. The mean registration (assessment) time was 6 hours and 15 minutes.
No evident differences in the reproducibility depending on same or different interviewers at test and retest could be observed. The linear relationship between times estimated by the interview and by observations was high for four of the work postures: 'sitting' (r = 0.86), 'standing with hands above shoulder level' (r = 0.87), 'between shoulder and knuckle level' (r = 0.75), and 'below knuckle level' (r = 0.93). When the work posture 'standing with hands between shoulder and knuckle level' was divided into 'hands fixed' (r = 0.62) and 'hands not fixed' (r = 0.50) the correlations were weak. Current musculoskeletal complaints did not influence the accuracy of the estimations.
The present task-oriented interview technique may be the best available method to estimate these work postures in a way that requires few resources compared to observations and technical measurements.
OBJECTIVE: To test whether feedback and discussion of ergonomic and psychosocial working environment data during 1 short session with individual, groups, or supervisors of VDU workers had effects on (1) the quality of implemented modifications in workplace design, working technique, or psychosocial aspects; (2) psychological demands, decision latitude, and social support; (3) comfort during computer work, emotional stress, and prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms or eye discomfort. METHODS: Thirty-six workgroups from 9 organizations were randomized to 3 feedback conditions (individual, workgroup, supervisor) or control. Follow-up was 6 months after intervention. Questionnaire data aggregated on the workgroup level were used. RESULTS: Effect (positive) on social support was indicated from feedback to supervisors. Conclusion: Feedback and discussion of ergonomic and psychosocial working environment data with supervisors of white-collar VDU workers may have positive effect on social support measured as a group characteristic. Sources of potential bias are discussed.