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WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary, international journal which publishes high quality peer-reviewed manuscripts covering the entire scope of the occupation of work. The journal's subtitle has been deliberately laid out: The first goal is the prevention of illness, injury, and disability. When this goal is not achievable, the attention focuses on assessment to design client-centered intervention, rehabilitation, treatment, or controls that use scientific evidence to support best practice.
WORK occasionally publishes thematic issues, but in general, issues cover a wide range of topics such as ergonomic considerations with children, youth and students, the challenges facing an aging workforce, workplace violence, injury management, performing artists, ergonomic product evaluations, and the awareness of the political, cultural, and environmental determinants of health related to work.
Dr. Karen Jacobs, the founding editor, and her editorial board especially encourage the publication of research studies, clinical practice, case study reports, as well as personal narratives and critical reflections of lived work experiences (autoethnographic/autobiographic scholarship),
Sounding Board commentaries and
Speaking of Research articles which provide the foundation for better understanding research to facilitate knowledge dissemination.
Narrative Reflections on Occupational Transitions, a new column, is for persons who have successfully transitioned into, between, or out of occupations to tell their stories in a narrative form. With an internationally renowned editorial board,
WORK maintains high standards in the evaluation and publication of manuscripts. All manuscripts are reviewed expeditiously and published in a timely manner.
WORK prides itself on being an author-friendly journal.
WORK celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015.
*WORK is affiliated with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)* *WORK is endorsed by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA)* *WORK gives out the yearly Cheryl Bennett Best Paper Award*
Abstract: The article suggests a model that can account for the systemic nature of the law's functions with regard to occupational health and safety. The model presents four functions for law's intervention: to establish standards, to ensure the welfare of those injured on the job, to provide incentives for employers and employees to reduce the level of injuries, and to ensure the efficient administration of public expenditures. The model requires observing law's intertwining functions in context and assessing the output according to a weighted index. The article applies this framework for a critical description of the Israeli system. While injury rates…in Israel are ‘normal’, compared to other industrialized countries, the findings suggest some deficiencies in the functions of law including: inadequate adaptation of the standardization process to the challenges of the ‘new workplace’, incomplete incentives for adopting a high level of care and for compliance with standards, a relative failure of effort to induce a managerial culture that cooperates with workers on issues of health and safety, and a general fragmentation of the system.
Abstract: Cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) refers to a number of conditions arising from overuse of joints or soft tissues. The common risk factors that contribute to the development of these disorders are related to personal and occupational variables. Job analysis of the tasks performed by the dental hygienist have shown that this occupation is particularly at risk. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of CTD symptoms amongst dental hygienists in Israel and to identify which are the factors that are related to CTD. A questionnaire including items concerning demographic data, employment history, professional occupational information, use of…instrumentation, and CTD symptomatology was mailed to all 530 registered dental hygienists. Two hundred forty-six hygienists (46%) returned the questionnaire; 63% of the respondents were classified as CTD ‘sufferers’, Age, year of graduation, hours worked per week, and frequency of changing instruments were found to be significantly related to CTD symptoms. Hygienists at high risk included those aged 50 years or more (Odds ratio, OR = 6), those who graduated before 1986 (OR = 3), those who work more than 34 h per week (OR = 2.5) and those who change two or fewer instruments per patient (OR = 2). The major recommendation resulting from this study is to make dental hygienists aware that they work in a high-risk profession. It is hoped that increased awareness of the risk will spur the hygienist to make appropriate work practice, administrative, and engineering modifications and to seek treatment at the first indication of CTD symptoms.
Abstract: Virtual reality (VR) entails the use of advanced technologies, including computers and various multimedia peripherals, to produce a simulated (i.e. virtual) environment that users perceive as comparable to real world objects and events. With the aid of specially designed transducers and sensors, users interact with displayed images, moving and manipulating virtual objects, and performing other actions in a way that engenders a feeling of actual presence (immersion) in the simulated environment. The unique features and flexibility of VR give it extraordinary potential for use in work-related applications. It permits users to experience and interact with a life-like model or environment,…in safety and at convenient times, while providing a degree of control over the simulation that is usually not possible in the real-life situation. The work-related applications that appear to be most promising are those that employ virtual reality for visualization and representation, distance communication and education, hands-on training, and orientation and navigation. This article presents an overview to the concepts of VR focusing on its applications in a variety of work settings. Issues related to potential difficulties in using VR including side effects and the transfer of skills learned in the virtual environment to the real world are also reviewed.
Abstract: Objectives: Handwriting is one of the first things children are taught at school and need to perform in an efficient manner throughout life. Various studies have indicated that handwriting skills are related to many different variables including ergonomic factors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences between children with good and poor handwriting on ergonomic factors that underlie handwriting (e.g. body and paper positioning, pencil-grip and pressure) and to examine the relationship between the handwriting legibility and speed and these ergonomic factors. Study Design: The study included 209 students in Grades 2 and 3 in Israel.…The students were identified as good (N=116) and as poor handwriters (N=103) by their teachers. The Hebrew Handwriting Evaluation (HHE) was used to collect data on handwriting quality and speed as well as on ergonomic factors. A Chi square procedure was used to compare the differences between the handwriting groups. Discriminant analysis determined the percent of correct discrimination of subjects with poor or good handwriting based on the ergonomic factors. Finally, Spearman correlation coefficients were employed between the ergonomic variables and speed and quality of handwriting. Results: The results indicated that children with poor handwriting had inferior pencil, paper and body positioning, stabilization of paper and consistency of pressure, compared to children with good handwriting. Conclusions: The implications of the results in general, and specifically for clinical practice are discussed. Finally, further research related to this topic is suggested.
Keywords: Body posture, Pencil grip, Pressure, Paper positioning, Handwriting
Abstract: Objectives: Handwriting is one aspect of school children's work. This article examines the influence of fatigue on handwriting, through the use of prolonged writing. Study design: The study population included 157 third-grade students with good and poor handwriting. Quality and speed of handwriting, in addition to ergonomic factors, were assessed through the Hebrew Handwriting Evaluation (HHE), prior to writing and after writing for 10 consecutive minutes. Results: Results of this study clearly demonstrate that children with both poor and good handwriting perform more poorly after writing long texts. Although both groups were influenced by the fatigue situation, poor…handwriters still scored lower than the good handwriters in both conditions (fatigue and non-fatigue), on most variables. Conclusions: Continued studies in this area are recommended, and it is suggested that children take ‘writing breaks’ when writing, in order to improve the quality of their handwriting.
Abstract: Objectives: The purposes of this study were first, to determine the validity of the Purdue Pegboard Test in differentiating between groups of healthy adults and adults who suffered from traumatic hand injury. Second, to determine criterion validity of the Purdue Pegboard Test with the Functional Dexterity Test (FDT). Third, to test the correlations between the Purdue Pegboard Test and several functional hand activities. Study designs: Fifty-four post-traumatic hand injury participants who were treated in the Occupational Therapy Clinic at the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel. Forty-three healthy participants with no history of hand injury or disease formed the…control group. All subjects were assessed with the Purdue Pegboard Test, PDT and five functional hand activities. Results and conclusions: The Purdue Pegboard Test differentiated between the healthy population and the post-traumatic hand injury population. No significant differences were found between the dominant hand-injured group and the non-dominant hand-injured group on three scores (both hands, assembly and the summarizing of the first three sub-tests). Correlations between the Purdue Pegboard Test and the PDT were moderate to high suggesting the two tests should be used in combination when assessing patients. Correlations between the Purdue and hand activities (e.g. button, laces) were moderate. Further studies are needed to examine the relationships between types of hand injuries, ROM, pinch grip and performance on the Purdue Pegboard Test.
Keywords: Purdue Pegboard Test, Dexterity, Traumatic hand injury, Hand function
Abstract: In the following study, we examined the possible relationship between acute and chronic measures of lead exposure and total white cell blood counts in 94 workers in a lead-battery plant who were followed-up from 1980 to 1993. Acute measures of lead exposure included blood lead (PbB), and zinc protoporphyrin levels (ZPP) measured concomitantly with the total white blood count, and a measure of chronic exposure was represented by average blood lead levels over the follow-up period. Of the 947 white blood cell counts, leukocytosis was found in 92 (9.7%), but there was no higher proportion of leukocytosis in the groups…with higher PbB or ZPP results. Of those where a smoking history was recorded, none of the 188 non-smokers had leukocytosis, compared to 78 of 590 smokers (0 vs. 13.2%, respectively, P < 0.05). The white count was not significantly correlated with ZPP, PbB or the average PbB of the workers. We conclude that lead exposure does not influence the white blood cell count in battery workers, and that the cause of an elevated white count in such worker's is probably due entirely to a history of smoking. Further studies are warranted to substantiate our findings.
Keywords: White blood cells, Leukocytosis, Smoking, Lead exposure
Abstract: Sulfur dioxide (SO2 ) is generally recognized as a respiratory irritant, but its effects if any at low levels of exposure are uncertain. We studied 38 power station technicians exposed to 0.8 ppm (parts per million) 8-h weighted levels of sulfur dioxide, and compared them to workers performing similar tasks without such exposure. Those exposed complained 5.8 times more frequently of cough (95% CI =1.8−20.6, P < 0.001), and also had significantly more sputum production. There was also a trend for increasing prevalence of dyspnea. On the other hand there was no decrease in pulmonary function test values. In the…eight exposed subjects who complained of dyspnea, there was a significant decrease in pulmonary flow values. We conclude that power station workers exposed to low levels of SO2 have increased respiratory symptoms, and deserve compensation if their symptoms become chronic. The pulmonary function tests were not different from the control subjects, but there may be a small group who are prone to long-term morbidity. Additional studies are warranted to confirm our findings, and to define immediate and long-term morbidity due to low exposure to SO2 .
Keywords: Sulfur dioxide, Respiratory symptoms, Pulmonary function, Industry