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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 paper analyzes the ways in which the two paramedics organize their work activities in the courses of interaction with the patient. The paramedic-patient –interaction is generally based on question-answer –sequences where one paramedic asks a question to which the patient answers. The paper examines the organization of paramedics’ institutional roles and responsibilities within these particular sequences of talk by conversation analytic means. Instead of leaning on any personal or psychological explanations, the paper aims to demonstrate how particular breaches or problems in the organization of division of labour become explainable and understandable through the detailed analysis of preceding interaction.…The main research data consist of the videorecordings of naturally occurring interactions between paramedics and patient.
Abstract: In this paper we point some aspects of workers activities in offshore units in the oil industry. These units became more verticalized and have a greater number of operating systems. Our goal is to present the main difficulties that workers face in these units.
Keywords: oil industry, platform vessel, work analysis
vol. 41, no. Supplement 1, pp. 49-54, 2012
Abstract: Comfort is an issue that has gained relevance within the aeronautical industry due to the necessity of manufacturers and airline companies of differentiating themselves in a market that has become more and more competitive each day. This study’s aim is to analyze the comfort/discomfort of passengers, based on the analysis of the activities performed in the aircrafts’ cabin during real flights, in order to create ergonomics requirements and a methodology of comfort analysis. The study has been performed during domestic commercial flights, and the adopted data collection techniques have been: the application of 219 questionnaires to passengers, 44 registrations of…postures and actions through filmings and 12 semistructured interviews. The method has made possible the reconstruction of the user’s action course in performing activities in real flight situations, and the calculation of the area occupied by the passenger during his or her actions. The integrated analysis of the results corroborates data from previous studies in which both the space made available to each passenger and the activity performed interfere in their perception of comfort. From this study it has been concluded that the method constitutes itself as an innovative tool within the process of aircrafts’ cabins project enabling the calculation of the action space based on the reconstructed course.
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to identify utilization schemes developed by students and teachers in their interaction with educational workstations in the electronic measurement and instrumentation laboratory at the Department of Electrical Engineering in the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil. After that, these schemes were used to design a new workstation. For this, it was important to bear in mind that the mentioned artifacts contain two key characteristics: (1) one from the designers themselves, resulting from their experience and their technical knowledge of what they are designing and (2) the experience from users and the means through…which they take advantage of and develop these artifacts, in turn rendering them appropriate to perform the proposed task – the utilization schemes developed in the process of mediation between the user and the artifact. The satisfactory fusion of these two points makes these artifacts a functional unit – the instruments. This research aims to demonstrate that identifying the utilization schemes by taking advantage of user experience and incorporating this within the design, facilitates its appropriation and, consequently, its efficiency as an instrument of learning.
Keywords: ergonomic design, artifact, instrument, learning process
vol. 41, no. Supplement 1, pp. 61-68, 2012
Abstract: The social, organizational, and technological complexity of high-risk organizations creates a strong need for coordination. Joint activity in such systems thus relies both on formal coordination and on a set of informal coordinative practices. Coordinated joint activity is documented in this paper from two perspectives: the development of coordinative practices to overcome the limitations of formal coordination, and the use of artifacts for coordinative purposes. The empirical material is provided by a workplace study undertaken according to theoretical conceptions of situated action and cognition. It was undertaken in the context of a design project that aims at improving the tagout…process in a high-risk industry. Findings first describe and analyze situations in which formal coordination turned out to be more of a constraint than a resource for effective action. They then illustrate the role played by artifacts in coordinated activity, focusing on the use of a particular artifact, the tagout tag, in different situations.
Keywords: coordination, team work, artifact, design, nuclear
vol. 41, no. Supplement 1, pp. 69-75, 2012
Abstract: This article discusses the difficulties dairy farmers face when they decide to install a new type of production on their units. We intend to discuss the nature of the new competencies the farmers will construct in order to install new production ateliers, and to show the complexity of the means they used, the difficulties they face in this process, and the strategies farmers develop in consonance with the practical knowledge of their profession. The method used was Ergonomic Work Analysis, together with semi-structured interviews, done after sessions of observation and work analysis. The results show that it is possible to…apprehend a part of the complexity of the process of constructing competencies among dairy farmers, the diversity of kinds of resources they mobilize, integrate and transfer in this construction process that materializes through their activities in the work context.
Keywords: ATWAD, agricultural ergonomics, family farming, family agriculture, cognition, competencies
vol. 41, no. Supplement 1, pp. 76-80, 2012
Abstract: When implementing innovations, disturbances are very likely to take place. Disturbances are undesirable because they can lead to unwanted outcomes, such as economic losses and work overload to workers. However, they can be powerful opportunities for learning and re-designing innovations. Here, we will present activity theoretical tools for analyzing disturbances in a way that they could be used as learning opportunities. We illustrate the proposed tools by analyzing a disturbance that took place during the implementation of a project of biogas production. By interpreting the disturbance process with a network of activity systems, we found that on-farm disturbances were formed…as ruptures, innovations and asynchronies originated in other activity systems. This finding suggests that disturbances are outcomes of the functioning of networks, rather than simple results of failure of individuals or technical devices. The proposed tools could be used in interventions to help practitioners and ergonomists to recognize the systemic and networked nature of problems, and therefore, realize that they may require the collaboration of actors from different activities. In this sense, disturbances may be turned into opportunities for learning and developing innovations. We conclude by discussing how the method could be used in ergonomic design and intervention.
Keywords: disturbances, learning, biogas production, activity theory
vol. 41, no. Supplement 1, pp. 81-88, 2012
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to present and discuss a French-Brazilian project (CAPES-COFECUB) centered on the relations between sustainable development, innovation and changes in work activities that accompany these innovations for sustainable development. Sustainable development calls for an integrated approach of three dimensions: social equity, economic viability and environmental sustainability. In order to achieve this integration, considerable innovations efforts are required. However, the work, understood as a productive act, is deeply lacking in the current researches. Starting from the idea that work is a “fundamental need” the goal of this project is to propose innovative methods that can be…used for designing production systems from the perspective of sustainable development.
Keywords: work, innovation, sustainable development
vol. 41, no. Supplement 1, pp. 89-94, 2012
Abstract: The present communication deals with the methodology of the ergonomics field intervention process. It proposes an operationalized version of work analysis in terms of contradictions. The aim is to demonstrate that such a dialectic tool and method of representation may assist the ergonomist to frame the essence of a work activity in practical terms, swiftly and in a manner that preserves its multifaceted unity. The proposed method is inspired by two theoretical constructs (i) contradiction as used in Cultural Historical Activity Theory and (ii) regulation, as developed and used by the francophone tradition of ergonomics of activity. Two brief examples…of its use are presented and a discussion is made on further developments and possible pitfalls.
Abstract: This paper presents experiences from a user-driven innovation process of an outpatient department in a hospital. The mixing of methods from user-driven innovation and participatory design contributed to develop an innovative concept of the spatial and organizational design of an outpatient department in a hospital. Design games and tabletop simulation seem to be powerful tools in facilitating such a participatory process.
Keywords: innovation, user participation, codesign, health care sector, outpatient department
vol. 41, no. Supplement 1, pp. 101-106, 2012