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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: The bladder compensatory suit (BCS) is important individual protective equipment for pilots’ activities in a high-flying environment. The layout and thermal diffusion ability of the bladder directly affects the thermal comfort of pilots in flight. OBJECTIVE: (1) Established and verified a human–compensatory suit–environment heat transfer model; (2) Used the model to study the human thermal variation of each segment in hot conditions and clothing. METHODS: To verify the two-dimensional heat transfer model, simulated data of body temperature were compared with experimental results under the same conditions (AT: 40/45°C, ordinary clothing). The model could be used…to calculate the temperature variation of each body segment in three environments temperature (28°C, 35°C and 40°C) and three types of clothing (naked, ordinary clothing, BCS). RESULTS: The results showed that: (1) the bladder significantly affected sweating speed and skin temperature, as well as core temperature; (2) the skin temperature of the area covered by the bladder was difficult to reduce by the thermal regulation system. It was because sweat secretion was inhibited, thus, to limit evaporation. CONCLUSIONS: The model could be used as a reference for the thermal protection design of bladder compensatory suit. SUMMARY: The bladder compensatory suit (BCS) is important individual protective equipment for pilots activities in a high-flying environment, and its layout directly affects the thermal comfort. Based on a two-dimensional thermal regulation system model, a body–clothing–environment heat transfer model was established. The model was used to calculate the temperature and sweat variation of each body segment in different environments and clothing.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Multiple challenges await people with severe physical disability when they are preparing to enter the labour market at the end of the school period. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to better understand the multiple factors that influence the course of disabled youth transitioning into the workforce by gathering perceptions from stakeholders. Methods The study used a qualitative descriptive design with an interpretative description approach to analyze the experiences reported by six school staff, six parents, and three employers. RESULTS: Significant facilitators to the workforce transition were the active involvement of the school’s staff in multiplying outreach…activities between the various external partners. Significant obstacles include the level of help required to complete day-to-day activities at work and student lack of work experience. Government cutbacks were unanimously identified as the prominent obstacle. CONCLUSIONS: The results presented in this study indicate that a successful school to work transition program is dependent on many factors. These factors include the characteristics of the targeted population, the level of involvement from key stakeholders, the willingness of employers to hire this population, as well as program objectives deviating from paid employment. Further development opportunities have proven to be helpful, such as the development of a solid partnership and collaboration between all stakeholders.
Keywords: Adolescents, severe disability, social participation, pediatric
transition to adult care, workforce participation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Maintaining adequate working ability of construction workers is of considerable importance for society, as the construction sector is burdened with high prevalence of work-related diseases and health-issues. OBJECTIVE: To determine the number and age of construction workers in Croatia with temporary or permanent work limitation status, as well as to identify the most common health causes of such work limitation. METHODS: A retrospective cross-sectional study was performed using the data from 2534 construction workers, aged between 18 and 65 years, who underwent standardized routine occupational health examinations between 2011 and 2015. Thorough medical history and…medical record reviews, blood and urine analyses, vision parameters and hearing range evaluation, as well as mental health assessment were conducted on every study participant. RESULTS: A total of 210 construction workers (8.29%) received occupational/work limitation status (either temporary or permanent). Four main categories of work limitation were high blood pressure, disorders of the liver and digestive system, hearing loss and amblyopia, comprising 61.69% of all diagnoses. A total of 37.62% of workers with work limitation status had two or more different diagnoses (i.e. co-morbid conditions). Those with work limitation (either temporary or long-term) were significantly older than those fit enough to work (p -value <0.00001). CONCLUSIONS: This type of organized screening represents a significant preventative effort in the construction industry, as workers may become more cognizant of the conditions that may affect their work ability.
Keywords: Construction sector, screening, age, prevention, co-morbidity
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Strategies to increase non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) through promotion of movement and energy expenditure at desk stations are needed to help overcome ill effects of prolonged sitting. OBJECTIVE: Examine the metabolic rate during three stages of a workstation: sitting, standing, and use of a device (HOVR® ) that promotes leg movement while seated. METHODS: Participants (n = 16; mean ±standard deviation: age 26.1±6.0 years; BMI 24.7±4.3 kg/m2 ) were tested for VO2 and VCO2 for 15 min at each stage in this order: sitting only, sitting using the HOVR, and standing. Participants performed the same desk…work to keep fine-motor activity consistent for the stages. Data collected during the final 5 min of a stage were averaged and analyzed as steady-state data. To evaluate the effect of each stage on cognitive function, the Stroop word-color test was administered after metabolic assessment as the stage continued. One-way ANOVA with repeated measures was used to compare stages for VO2 (L/min), metabolic equivalents (METs), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and heart rate (p < 0.05). RESULTS: The ANOVA revealed significant differences between the mean values for each stage for each dependent variable (p < 0.05). Post hoc tests indicated VO2 differed for each stage (mean±SD in mL/kg/min: sitting, 4.13±0.56; sitting with HOVR, 4.82±0.74; standing, 4.50±0.53; p < 0.05). METs followed a similar pattern (sitting, 1.19±0.16; sitting with HOVR, 1.39±0.20; standing, 1.29±0.16; p < 0.05). An increase in Stroop Test scores was found as the stages progressed (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Modest movement while seated, i.e., use of HOVR, elevated metabolic rate by 17.6% compared to sitting and by 7% compared to standing and might be a reasonable strategy to help elevate NEAT during the workday.
Keywords: Very low-intensity activity, METS, sedentary, sitting
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Pressure on the shoulder can be a major limiting factor to backpack use and poor design can lead to pain and injury. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of shoulder strap width and load placement in a backpack on the shoulder and axilla. METHODS: A manikin fitted with a backpack load of 20 kg mass and four different width straps (5, 6, 7, and 8 cm) was used. The load was placed high or low. Interface pressure sensors were placed over the shoulder and chest wall at the axilla. RESULTS: A significant interaction was observed between…shoulder strap width and load placement. The positive effect of wide straps on shoulder pressure is greater with high load placement and the benefit of wide straps on axillary pressure is improved with low load placement. Interface pressure decreased significantly from narrow to wide straps. A large difference was noted between interface pressure on high and low load placement with narrow straps; however, as shoulder strap width increased, the difference between the two load placements decreased. CONCLUSION: The least amount of interface pressure was observed with 8 cm shoulder straps and high load placement. These findings should influence design and use of backpacks.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Notwithstanding efforts by vocational services to assist Australians with mental illness into employment many of these consumers remain unemployed. OBJECTIVE: To inform policymakers and practitioners of a disability employment services reform framework that endeavours to help more consumers who are experiencing mental illness to attain and retain employment. METHODS: Thematic analysis was directed to summarize results obtained from a narrative literature review of disability employment service reforms utilising Scopus, Medline and Pubmed databases and including articles published between 2000 and 2016. RESULTS: Research results reveal a preparative framework covering three levels of disability…employment services reform for consumers with mental illness. CONCLUSION: This research makes important theoretical contributions across three areas. First this study reveals individualised, integrated and outcome-oriented services as dimensions of disability employment services reform that warrant greater government investment, practitioner focus and consumer involvement. Second recognising that none of these service reforms are immune from challenges which may hinder their effectiveness, future research is needed to identify evidence-based mitigation measures. Finally with individualised services positioned at the nucleus of the reform framework, integrated services and outcome-oriented reforms should be operationalised in ways that remain sensitive to the principle of strength-based support.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Milling machine operators perform physically demanding tasks that can lead to work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs), but literature on WRMSDs among milling machine operators is scarce. Knowledge of prevalence and risk factors of WRMSDs can be an appropriate base for planning and implementing ergonomics intervention programs in the workplace. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the prevalence, pattern and associated factors of WRMSDs among commercial milling machine operators in Enugu, Nigeria. METHODS: This cross-sectional survey involved 148 commercial milling machine operators (74 hand-operated milling machine operators (HOMMO) and 74 electrically-operated milling machine operators (EOMMO)), within…the age range of 18–65 years, who were conveniently selected from four markets in Enugu, Nigeria. A standard Nordic questionnaire was used to assess the prevalence of WRMSDs among the participants. Data were summarized using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: There was a significant difference (p = 0.001) related to prevalence of WRMSDs between HOMMOs (77%) and EOMMOs (50%). All body parts were affected in both groups and shoulders (85.1%) and lower back (46%) had the highest percentage of prevalence. Working in awkward and same postures, working with injury, poor workplace design, repetition of tasks, vibratory working equipments, reduced rest, high job demand and heavy lifting were significantly associated with the prevalence of WRMSDs. CONCLUSIONS: WRMSDs are prevalent among commercial milling machine operators with higher occurrence in HOMMOs. Ergonomic interventions, including the re-design of milling machines and appropriate work posture education of machine operators are recommended in the milling industry.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Return to work is an important aspect for cardiac rehabilitation following a major cardiac event. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to understand the local prevalence and factors associated with returning to work in Malaysia after a cardiac event. METHODS: A cross sectional design was used. All patients attending the cardiac rehabilitation program after major cardiac event during an 11-months period (2011-2012) were included. Data relating to socio-demographic, work-related, risk factors and acute myocardial infarction were collected. The SF-36 questionnaire was used to assess quality of life. Regression analysis was used to determine the predicting factors to…return to work. RESULTS: A total of 398 files were screened, 112 respondents agreed to participate giving a response rate of 47.3%. The prevalence of returned to work (RTW) was 66.1% [95% CI: 57.2–75.0]. Factors associated with work resumption were age (Adj. OR: 0.92 (95% CI: 0.84–0.99), diabetes mellitus (Adj. OR: 3.70, 95% CI: 1.35–10.12), Mental Component Summary (MCS) score (Adj. OR: 1.05 (95% CI: 1.01–1.09) and baseline angiography findings. Patients with single vessel and two vessel disease were 8.9 times and 3.78 times more likely to return to work compared to those with 3 vessels (Adj. OR: 8.90 (95% CI: 2.29–34.64) and Adj. OR: 3.78, (95% CI: 1.12, 12.74). CONCLUSIONS: We proposed a cardiac rehabilitation program to emphasize mental health as it may improve successful return to work after cardiac event.
Keywords: Work resumption, diabetes mellitus, cardiac rehabilitation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: A high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders and abnormal alignments of the lower extremities (LE) was found for rice farmers. It is important to investigate demographic and work-related risk factors associated with LE pain prior to developing intervention strategies addressing the problematic factors of the highest-risk task. OBJECTIVE: To identify factors associated with LE pain in rice farmers for every stage of the cultivation process. METHODS: Thirty experienced farmers (age of 45.9±6.21 (mean±SD)) rated LE pain experienced before and after each cultivation stage using the Standardized Nordic Questionnaire. Risk factors of pain were characterized based on…expert risk assessment of tasks due to force, posture and motion, in addition to a conventional survey of demographic and other work-related information. RESULTS: Ergonomic risk factors were found to be the strongest predictors of knee and foot pain perception, which induced a substantial increase of pain perception (up to 4.6 times) with varying extent for individual cultivation stages. The highest risk and pain perception was found during the planting performance. Age exhibited significantly positive association with foot pain during planting and harvesting. However, more experienced farmers perceived less foot pain, presumably by developing effective movement strategies. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that the planting process should be subject of further intervention development, especially for older farmers, with focus on reducing force, awkward posture and repetitive movement to minimize risk of LE pain.