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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: BACKGROUND: Organizations are increasingly required to reduce their environmental impact through the adoption of environmental management, which requires the support of human resource practices. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to determine whether human resource management practices, especially training, are supporting environmental management practices at four hotels located in Brazil. METHODS: This research is qualitative, based on the analysis of four hotels in Brazil. RESULTS: Based on the systematized empirical evidence collected from…four hotels (Hotels A, B, C, and D), it can be concluded that: (1) human resource management is still not fully aligned with environmental objectives at the hotels studied; (2) only Hotel B has implemented environmental management practices and aligned with human resource management in a more developed manner, which may indicate that these two variables of analysis could have interrelations; (3) environmental training as a human resource management practice was verified in all hotels analyzed. CONCLUSIONS: The greening of human resources practices is not fully aligned with environmental objectives in the hotels studied. If these hotels really wish to "go green," environmental training will be necessary. Hotel stakeholders play a major role in implementing the greening of the hotel industry.
Keywords: Green human resource management, sustainable human resources, training, environmental sustainability, hotels, service industry, Brazil, hospitality industry
Abstract: BACKGROUND: When discussing ergonomics, the term 'sustainability' usually refers to the preservation of the human workforce. OBJECTIVE: However, in 2010 Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation made a conscious effort to combine ergonomics and environmental sustainability in order to increase employee engagement for both programs. METHODS: They introduced a companywide campaign called Green Ergo which is the idea of creating ergonomic solutions from scrap material found on site. This concept embraced the true meaning of 'green' and encouraged engineers…and employees all across the company to design innovative green ergonomic solutions. RESULTS: The idea generated over 35 new ergo solutions, reduced waste production, and solved over 700 ergo problems for a fraction of the cost of newly purchased items. CONCLUSION: The demand for these items grew large enough that the company outsourced their manufacturing to a local non-profit. The Green Ergo campaign has changed the culture of the company and has increased the level of buy-in for both the ergonomics and sustainability programs.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Green building standards are significantly impacting modern construction practices. The resulting structures are more energy efficient, but their impact on occupant health has not been widely studied. OBJECTIVE: To investigate a range of indoor environment and ergonomic issues in green buildings. METHODS: Retrospective post-occupancy evaluation survey of 319 occupants in two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings and one conventional building on a Canadian…University campus. RESULTS: Results show that working in the LEED buildings was a generally positive experience for their health, performance, and satisfaction. However, the LEED buildings did not always receive the highest ratings for environmental conditions or for health and productivity. Respondents indicated a range of concerns with thermal conditions, office lighting, noise and their overall workstation designs and these were not always better in the green buildings. CONCLUSIONS: These results highlight the need for better integration of ergonomic design into green buildings and into the LEED rating system, and these implications are discussed.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The pursuit of efficiency and the permeation of communication technologies in modern workplace have increased prolonged sitting and physical inactivity among the white-collar workforce. Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for developing various chronic diseases and obesity. OBJECTIVE: This study intends to understand the impact of physical environment on both voluntary and imperative physical activity levels in an office building, and to collect evidence for design suggestions to encourage office workers' activity level…on a daily basis. This study examined how proximity from individual workstations to various shared service and amenity spaces in the workplace (e.g., meeting spaces, copy areas, kitchens, restrooms, elevators, and stairs) is associated with office workers' physical activity level (e.g., sedentary and non-sedentary behavior) and their environmental and job satisfaction. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: To objectively measure physical activity, twenty-six office workers, in a three-story office building, wore accelerometers for three consecutive days at work. Environmental and job satisfaction of office workers was measured by a questionnaire. Proximity variables were measured using the floor plans of the subject building. CONCLUSIONS: Participants on average were sedentary for 80% of the time during the study. Proximity to several service and amenity areas was positively associated with step counts and job satisfaction.
Keywords: Workplace, sedentary behavior, shared service and amenity spaces
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Based on improvements in indoor environmental quality claims are that 'green' buildings are healthier and promote greater productivity than conventional buildings. However, the empirical evidence over the last decade has been inconclusive, usually with flawed study designs. OBJECTIVE: This study explored whether a 'green' building leads to a healthier, more productive work environment. METHODS: A one-year, longitudinal comparison of two groups of employees of a large commercial bank; a group that moved into a…GreenStar-accredited building and a group that stayed in a conventional building, was conducted. Measures of psychological wellbeing, physical wellbeing, productivity, and perceptions of the physical environment were taken before the move, six months later, and one year later. RESULTS: Results indicate that the 'green' building group had significantly increased self-reported productivity and physical wellbeing. The perceptions of the physical work environment indicate that respondents in the 'green' building group experienced significant air quality improvements (specifically, reduced stale air, better ventilation, improved air movement, reduced humidity, and conditions that were not too drafty) but perceived the lighting conditions as dimmer. CONCLUSION: Despite positive findings 'green' building rating tools require amendment to focus on those qualities that actually lead to improved wellbeing and productivity.
Abstract: In the last twenty years, terms such as sustainable development, environmental protection, and sustainable design have been widely exploited, often without justification. Does ergonomics have a legitimate need or right to use these terms and to be the part of the process to which they refer? This paper discusses the relationship between ergonomics and the concept of sustainable development and its three elements of sustainability (environmental, social and economic), as the steps ergonomists need to take to…secure and strengthen the influence in sustainability topics.
Abstract: Despite guidance from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) on the requirements for earning a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ergonomics credit in the Innovation in Design and Innovation in Operations category, few projects have received the credit. The University of California, Berkeley ergonomics program, [email protected], has aligned the ergonomics strategy to those of the USGBC and LEED to achieve the ergonomics credit in several new buildings. This article describes the steps…needed to obtain the credit and highlights the opportunities it creates to partner with the project team to promote ergonomics. As a profession it is up to ergonomists to create the road map that incorporates ergonomics into the green building design.
Abstract: A project undertaken in the Central Cleaning Department of Janssen, a Johnson and Johnson pharmaceutical company, demonstrates how ergonomics, environmental and industrial hygiene risks and quality concerns can be tackled simultaneously. The way equipment was cleaned was re-designed by an in-house cross-functional team to ensure a 'clean, lean and green' process. Initiatives included a new layout of the area, and new work processes and equipment to facilitate cleaning and handling items. This resulted in significant…improvements: all ergonomics high risk tasks were reduced to moderate or low risk; hearing protection was no longer required; respirator requirement reduced by 67%; solvent use reduced by 73%; productivity improved, with 55% fewer operator hours required; and quality improved 40-fold. The return on investment was estimated at 3.125 years based on an investment of over �1.5 million (2008 prices). This win-win intervention allowed ergonomics, environmental, industrial hygiene, productivity and quality concerns all to be addressed.
Keywords: Green ergonomics, process redesign, environmental benefit