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The journal will publish peer-reviewed original papers, covering a variety of occupational ergonomics issues including, but not limited to: prevention of work-related musculoskeletal injuries, task analysis, work design, occupational accidents, cognitive engineering, disability management, legal issues and the modeling of physical/mental stress at work. Emphasis will be on reflection of the recent increase in health and safety in the workplace and related job redesign requirements.
The journal aims to:
- provide a forum for publication of up-to-date research findings in the broad area of occupational ergonomics and safety
- provide a vehicle for distribution of information on occupational ergonomics and safety related issues, developments, and theories.
Articles will not be confined to research areas, but will comprise a balanced mixture of basic and applied research, literature reviews, case studies, short communications and book reviews in the broad area of occupational ergonomics and safety.
Abstract: Members of the design department in a medium-sized company were complaining to the management about the acoustic situation in new offices which adversely affected their personal well-being and their work performance. Therefore, a field study was conducted to analyze and evaluate the acoustic working conditions in the new offices and to develop improvements where necessary. Objective criteria for the evaluation of communication disturbances during meetings or telephone conversations were obtained by measuring the…reverberation time in several offices. Questionnaires with unipolar or bipolar 4-step scales allowed a differentiated judgement of the current acoustic situation and its effects on the person or individual. Improvements of the acoustics were developed and cost-utility prognoses were made. The proposed solutions and their prospective acceptance rate among the employees were assessed before they were implemented.
Keywords: reverberation time, disturbances of mental tasks, absorption coefficient, planning of room acoustics
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to make a thorough inventory of all serious accidents in Swedish fishery, reported to the Swedish Labour Market No-fault Liability Insurance, July 1983--June 1995 (431 cases, corresponding to a yearly rate of 12 per 1000 fishermen). No age group was over represented among the victims of such serious accidents. The most accident-prone activity was hauling of the trawl and the most common contacts in connection to this were getting…jammed by a wire or hit by a falling object/receiving a blow by an object. The second most common activity at the time of accident was repair work/work by the wharf, often connected to the contacts pricks or cuts or falls. Falls to the same level was the most common contact over all, followed by falls to a lower level. The most frequent mechanism behind the accidents was working in an exposed position, and second most common was slipping. Hands and wrists were most commonly injured. The median value for sick listing due to serious injury in occupational accidents in fishery, was 48 days. Approximately one third of the victims suffered permanent disability (mean degree 7%). Trawl fishing was over represented in serious accidents. Half of the accidents occurred on deck. January had the highest portion of accidents (14%) followed by October and November (10% each). The most accident-prone time of day was 9.30--10.30 am.
Abstract: Although fishery is a highly dangerous occupation, as reflected in accident statistics, preventive measures for improving safety on board the vessels are often neglected. The purpose of the present study was to develop, implement and evaluate a program for promoting implementation of safety measures in fishery. The safety program was based on a cost-benefit analysis including the following units: a) analysis of serious accidents in Swedish fishery during 1983--1995, b) cost analysis, specified for different types…of accidents, c) inventory of safety measures including costs and accessibility, d) visits to 101 vessels with presentation of data acquired in a--c, followed by a participatory safety inspection of each vessel, and e) a six-month follow-up of the 101 visits and safety inspections. The average yearly rate of serious accident was 12 per 1000 fishermen. Economic consequences of different types of accidents in fishery were considerable for the victim, and under certain circumstances also for the rest of the crew. The safety inspections revealed 1427 safety or ergonomics deficiencies on board the 101 vessels (range 3--22 per vessel). The six-month follow-up showed that 80% crews had attended to one or more of the deficiencies identified at the safety inspections. Fifty-nine of the in all 160 safety measures taken constituted acquiring, or taking up the use of safety glasses or hearing protection. Apart from these, the measures taken were spread over most categories of risk factors. It is concluded that safety promoting methods based upon participation and expert support are cost effective.
Abstract: The primary objective of this research is to determine whether or not worker expertise can be used to evaluate industrial lifting activities in order to prevent lower back injuries in the workplace. Twenty-two professionals and twenty-two skilled laborers participated in the study. The results obtained in this study indicate that it may possible to use personal knowledge and experience in evaluating physical tasks such as lifting. Furthermore, there was no difference between professionals and skilled laborers…in terms of the cognitive patterns relating input to output variables. This provides preliminary evidence that the logic of experienced workers is as good as that of professionals. In the open lifting model examined in this study, it is clear that the weight of load is perceived by the study participants as the most important variable in evaluating lifting activities and is in agreement with findings in the published literature. In the closed loop model, perceived risk emerges as an important variable in determining the effort level exerted during lifting activities, even more important than the weight of load.
Keywords: manual lifting, human expertise, linguistic evaluation