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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: Objective: This paper was based on case study research at the Swedish Mail Service Division and it addresses learning time to sort mail at new districts and means to support the learning process on an individual as well as organizational level. Participants: The study population consisted of 46 postmen and one team leader in the Swedish Mail Service Division. Methods: Data were collected through measurements of time for mail sorting, interviews and a focus group.…Results: The study showed that learning to sort mail was a much more complex process and took more time than expected by management. Means to support the learning process included clarification of the relationship between sorting and the topology of the district, a good work environment, increased support from colleagues and management, and a thorough introduction for new postmen. Conclusions: The identified means to support the learning process require an integration of human, technological and organizational aspects. The study further showed that increased operations flexibility cannot be reinforced without a systems perspective and thorough knowledge about real work activities and that ergonomists can aid businesses to acquire this knowledge.
Keywords: Postal services, productivity, ergonomics, HTO, humans, technology and organization
Abstract: Objective: This article presents two ergonomic studies carried out when two French administrative bodies modernized their work tools. Our objective was to identify and define the vocational learning of experienced technicians who were required to adopt new working methods to cope with these technological changes. Methods: We observed the work activity of technicians of different ages and length of service both before and during training, and also after their return to their work unit…during the appropriation phase. Results: These two studies revealed some difficulties that were common to all the technicians and others that were more specific to the older employees. In terms of the design of the training course, we were able to point out some mistaken assumptions about the technicians' original command of the work activity and the computers, which made it difficult for them to adopt new work procedures. Conclusion: The difficulties encountered by the older employees were ultimately found to be more an indication of organizational problems to do with the management of change rather than training problems due to age.
Keywords: Ergonomic, work analysis, ageing, learning, training design
Abstract: Objective: This study characterized teachers' work at a vocational training (VT) center and the conditions under which the activity is learned. Methods: We interviewed administrators and 12 teachers (4 males, 8 females) representing three study programs, selected as representative (age, seniority, and employment status). Results: What emerged was a portrait of an evolving profession within an organization that was highly structured in terms of the assignment of tasks and schedules, but unstructured in…terms of support for job adaptation and job retention. The major challenges for the teachers were to integrate their trade-specific knowledge with the new skills required to teach the trade, and to find time for class preparation. The lack of resources and support caused dissatisfaction, stress, problematic work-study-family balance, and health problems, particularly among new teachers. Discussion: A passion for teaching seems to compensate partly for these difficulties but it is uncertain for how long. Further research is necessary in order to understand the coping strategies employed by vocational training teachers. Conclusion: The findings of this study offer guidance for the development of resources that can assist with learning and performing the work of a VT teacher, and for a better recognition of the work of VT teachers.
Keywords: Trades school, teaching, learning and working conditions, ergonomics
Abstract: Objective: This paper presents a research project focused on the induction of newly hired employees in the construction sector in France, a sector in which employers report difficulties in retaining newly hired employees. The objective was to identify the diversity of new workers' employment status, and to understand what happens after they are hired, with a particular focus on the ways in which skills are acquired and passed on by the various protagonists. Participants:…25 employees, all men, voluntarily took part in this study. They were all employed, in various worksite jobs, under unlimited term contracts. Methods: Interviews were recorded with each participant. They were analyzed using a thematic analysis method with the aim of reconstituting newcomers' career paths. Results: Although the new employees have four different types of employment status, the way in which they learn the job is both relatively uniform and rudimentary. Skills are acquired in an opportunistic manner, often at the initiative of the newly hired employee, with older employees lacking the resources and the time to pass on their know-how. Conclusions: These findings raise issues related to workplace safety and organization – the dual focus of the debate on conditions conducive to skills transmission.
Keywords: New and experienced workers, activity, transmission, learning strategies, ergonomics
Abstract: Objective: This article presents a training course in work analysis via an understanding of real work. The course was aimed at trade unionists and was produced by researchers in ergonomics and occupational medicine. Designing this type of training is closely associated with the history of ergonomics in France and goes back to the basic principles: training by and for action, focusing on the concept of activity and the co-construction of knowledge, involving all actors in the…relevant area of work. Participants: One hundred and fifty trade unionists were trained over a period of 18 months, successfully completing company projects in the field of occupational health. Methods: The course was organised into seven 3-day modules. Each module included plenary sessions on fundamental topics relating to health/work, and small work groups where the trade union projects were prepared, based on gaining an understanding of the real work involved. Results: There were two types of results: an understanding of the way work is currently changing and of the consequences of these changes for workers' health; transformations in trade unionists' representations of work, giving them a better awareness of health/work relationships, new ways of transforming work, and also information about the teaching content required when designing training programmes for trade unionists. Conclusion: Understanding the notion of activity and constructing interaction with employees are crucial elements for carrying out this type of project successfully.
Keywords: Training, work analysis, activity, health
Abstract: Objective: The aim of this paper is to put forward a qualitative approach for evaluating the effects of training aiming to prevent health and safety problems at work. Participant: One training performed by 2 trainers for 7 trainees. Method: a content analysis at different steps of the training course. Results: The evaluation used, provides feedback about barriers and drivers in the training implementation context. Barriers are those factors, which undermine the implementation of…action and the production of results while drivers, on the other hand, help to improve training and produce positive effects. Conclusions: The evaluation set up also provides useful information about the links between the training process and the results produced in work situations.
Keywords: Qualitative training evaluation, trainers' strategy, prevention, musculoskeletal disorders
Abstract: In an ergonomic psychology approach, the teaching-learning process is considered a dynamic environment  which emphasizes co-piloting by the teacher and the pupils. We suggest identifying exactly who takes charge in various co-piloting situations. This stems from observations of two videos of one teacher during two separate sessions of the same science class debate, carried out in different classes (the teacher's own class and an unknown class). The consideration of the teacher's and the pupils' positions…towards a common reference point, comprised of posters presented by groups of pupils, as well as through pointing and indicating, allows for joint attention . This aims to identify traces of interactional modalities around a specific point of reference. This study has found that the teacher intervenes more often in a situation with an unknown class.
Keywords: Ergonomic psychology, professional didactics, joint attention, known/unknown class
Abstract: Objectives: This article presents the results of a study currently underway looking at the transmission of vocational skills between health care workers in a French hospital. The aim was to show that health care workers, in addition to their work with patients, also have to incorporate the transmission of vocational skills into their daily activities. Methods: Thirteen transmission situations were observed and analyzed by means of an activity-focused ergonomic work analysis, with the aim of reporting on…this "invisible work". Participants: The population studied was composed of nurses and the nursing assistants from three different units in one hospital. Results: The results show that the work required to integrate and supervise new staff members is left to the discretion of health care workers. This means they are constantly required to arbitrate on both an individual and collective basis between providing health care for patients and supporting new members of staff. The content of the transmission goes beyond the prescribed tasks and technical knowledge, as staff members also pass on their professional strategies (individual and collective), rules of practice and ethical considerations. Supervising students also offers experienced workers the opportunity to share their professional practices. Conclusions: This study highlights the issues arising from this transmission activity for the experienced workers, new workers, patients and the hospital.
Keywords: Ergonomics, work, age, seniority, health care sector
Abstract: Objectives: In some driving schools in France, several trainers may successively train a single trainee. This situation can be described as a case of asynchronous collaboration. In this paper, we examine the consequences of this situation in two different studies: the first explores the trainers' activity while the second concerns the trainees. Participants: The participants in the first study were 6 trainers with different levels of experience, each working with 2 different trainees. Four…of them met their trainees for the very first time. The second study included 150 trainees from 13 driving schools in Paris. Methods: In the first study, the driving lessons were recorded and fully transcribed before a thematic analysis was conducted. In the second study, the trainees completed a questionnaire. We collected both socio-demographic and driver training data. Results: In the first study, we observed that changing trainers during a trainee's driving course had an impact on the trainers' activity. We identified difficulties in establishing a diagnosis of the trainee's progress, and the organization of the driving lesson was altered. The second study highlighted the fact that changing trainers at the beginning of a course increased the duration of the training period. Conclusion: The impacts of changing trainers during a trainee's driving course are discussed with regard to both the trainers' scaffolding activity and the trainees' skill development.