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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: Safety science, in its multidisciplinary approach, has been enriched by the contributions of economic science practically from the beginning of its development. In this area of knowledge, a particularly relevant subject matter is the impact of economic fluctuations or cycles over the effect indicators of safety (incidence indexes). Two theories have been put forward from the field of safety: intensification theory and vulnerability theory. In this paper, the authors propose an integrative theory and analyse the Spanish situation in the light of this new theory, validating its application.
Keywords: occupational health and safety, economic cycle, incidence indexes
Abstract: The paper describes the methods used for a study of the safety management system and culture of a cold rolling mill in a steel plant. It uses data from diverse sources which can be validated against each other and combined to produce a rich picture of the current risk control system and its shortcomings. The paper also describes the proposed improvements and what the plant chose to implement. This step also throws light on the culture of the plant.
Keywords: safety management, safety culture, diagnosis of safety problems
Abstract: A systematic review of the published literature was carried out in order to identify the most important risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in the nursing profession. A standardized checklist was used in order to assess the methodological quality of the publications selected for the review. Specific criteria were established to assess the strength and consistence of evidence for potential risk factors for MSD. The results support a notion of the importance of physical work-related factors for the development of musculoskeletal problems in nursing. Lifting in awkward and forward-bent postures were especially high-risk tasks that resulted in variety of reported…musculoskeletal problems. This review also revealed that psychosocial factors, especially work organization issues and "social relations at work" were strongly related to the musculoskeletal outcomes in the studied population. Such risk factors as psychological job demands and job control were also associated with musculoskeletal problems; however, the evidence concerning these factors were weak and inconsistent. Further research is needed to establish the moderating and combined effects of different risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders in the nursing profession.
Keywords: nursing, musculoskeletal disorders, prevention, ergonomics, literature review
Abstract: Back pain is one of the most significant socioeconomic problem in industrialized countries. Its origin is multifactorial, including physical, psychosocial and individual risk factors. Among the working population, nursery teachers are highly exposed to back pain diseases, but not many studies have dealt with this problem. So a suitable quantitative index is proposed, based on an unobtrusive video-analysis of established motor-tasks. In particular five nursery teachers were asked to perform lifting and lowering movements placing their feet at two different distances from a weight (a toy pet loaded with 8 kg, simulating a child) with different strategies (flexed, partially flexed…and extended legs). The index is based on the idea that a greater trunk inclination angle determines increased loads on the lumbar spine, and so an augmented probability of spinal disorders. To validate our protocol, the same data were analyzed through a 3D biomechanical model (gold standard method), which computes the loads on L3-L4 intervertebral disc. Data show a good correspondence between the risk level suggested by the index and the one indicated by the mechanical loads: the antero-posterior shearing forces and the values of index coherently increase with the reduction of leg flexion.
Keywords: nursery, back pain, video analysis, risk index, NIOSH equation
Abstract: Work related low back disorders (LBDs) continue to pose significant occupational health problem that affects the quality of life of the industrial population. The main objective of this study was to explore the application of various data mining techniques, including neural networks, logistic regression, decision trees, memory-based reasoning, and the ensemble model, for classification of industrial jobs with respect to the risk of work-related LBDs. The results from extensive computer simulations using a 10-fold cross validation showed that memory-based reasoning and ensemble models were the best in the overall classification accuracy. The decision tree and memory-based reasoning models were the…most accurate in classifying jobs with high risk of LBDs, whereas neural networks and logistic regression were the best in classifying jobs with low risk of LBDs. The decision tree model delivered the most stable results across 10 generations of different data sets randomly chosen for training, validation, and testing. The classification results generated by the decision tree were the easiest to interpret because they were given in the form of simple 'if-then' rules. These results produced by the decision tree method showed that the peak moment had the highest predictive power of LBDs.
Keywords: low back disorders, assessment of lifting jobs, knowledge discovery, data mining techniques