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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: Currently, there are no assessment tools for measuring coping strategies for stress at work in the Korean language. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to translate the Latack Coping Scale to workplace stress into Korean and examine its psychometric properties in a Korean working population. METHODS: Translation of the the Latack Coping Scale was performed according to the scientific guidelines for cross-cultural adaptation. Two hundred and forty one general workers in Korea completed the new Korean version of the Latack Coping Scale as well as the Type D Personality Scale-14 (negative affectivity). Psychometric properties…(reliability and validity) were evaluated. RESULTS: Factor analysis yielded a model that was consistent with the originally proposed subscales of the questionnaire. Good to excellent internal consistency and measurement consistency over a one week interval were obtained for five subscales (Cronbach’s alpha; 0.61 to 0.86 and ICC (2.2); 0.80 to 0.87). Escape coping scales were positively associated with Type D personality while control coping scales were negatively associated with Type D personality. CONCLUSIONS: This Korean version of the Latack Coping Scale has shown excellent validity and reliability in the Korean working population. Organizations investigating work stress and coping methods in Korean workers can use this instrument with confidence.
Keywords: Coping strategy, work stress, psychometric properties, translation, cultural adaptation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Preschool teachers can easily become exhausted and worn out, otherwise known as job burnout. Studies have explored the effects of emotional labor strategies and psychological capital on job burnout; however, few have examined their trilateral relationship, especially the role of psychological capital with respect to emotional labor strategies and job burnout. OBJECTIVE: This study explored the mediating and moderating effects of psychological capital in the relationship between three kinds of emotional labor strategies and job burnout in preschool teachers. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among preschool teachers in China. A total of 355 preschool…teachers completed a self-report questionnaire, including three scales that measured emotional labor strategies, psychological capital, and job burnout. Resultant data were analyzed based on correlations, multiple regressions, and structural equation modeling. RESULTS: Results showed that for preschool teachers, two emotional labor strategies (deep acting and expression of natural emotion) were found to be negatively correlated with psychological capital and positively correlated with job burnout. However, surface acting was positively correlated with psychological capital and negatively correlated with job burnout. Psychological capital partially mediated the effects of the three emotional labor strategies on job burnout. Additionally, psychological capital significantly moderated the effects of surface acting and deep acting on job burnout. CONCLUSIONS: Psychological capital can significantly mediate and moderate the effects of emotional labor strategies on job burnout.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Standing desks are a low cost option for the reduction of sedentary behavior. OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated changes in utility and health outcomes during a standing desk intervention. METHODS: Thirty-five participants (BMI >25) who reported sitting an average of≥six hours per workday were recruited. Participants were randomized into a control or intervention group. Eleven were enrolled in the control group and 24 in the intervention group. Participants in the intervention group were outfitted with an adjustable standing desktop accessory while participants in the control group maintained a standard work desk. Self-reported and objective measures of…sedentary time during an eight hour workday were captured for a baseline and intervention period. Changes in health outcomes and workplace satisfaction were assessed after six months. RESULTS: Self-recorded sedentary behavior decreased by 25% after six months though no changes in health outcomes were observed. Subjective assessments of standing time were over-estimated by 10% (compared to accelerometer recordings) in the intervention group. The intervention group reported higher levels of satisfaction with comfort, customizability, and overall personal workplace. CONCLUSIONS: Despite a decrease in sedentary behavior, no changes in health outcomes occurred after a six month intervention. Future studies should incorporate objective measures of diet and physical activity to assess compensatory behaviors that may offset sedentary reduction. More sensitive health outcome measures should also be considered.
Keywords: Standing desk, workplace sedentary behavior, occupational health
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Metal co-exposure of human subjects is an important matter of public health concern. It has been shown that Acetylcholinesterase activity is a suitable biomarker for the neurological risk assessment of some metals. A few studies have reported neurotoxicity risk among humans in co-exposure to chromium and nickel. OBJECTIVE: In this study, AChE activity was assessed in occupational exposure to chromium (VI) and co-exposure to nickel (II) and chromium (VI). METHODS: Air sampling was done in chromium electroplating workshops with the NIOSH 7600 and OSHA ID-121 methods for chromium and nickel assessment. Thirty-two workers from hard…chromium plating and 30 from decorative chromium plating were evaluated, while AChE activity was measured by the Elman method. RESULTS: Personal exposure to chromium in 20% of the studied people exceeded the TWA set by ACGIH. Occupational exposure to nickel in 47% of the DCP subjects was found to be higher than TWA. Cholinergic inhibition in plating workers was marked by a decrease in AChE compared to controls. Subjects with chromium (VI) exposure contained significantly higher inhibition of AChE activity (p < 0.001) than workers with co-exposure to nickel (II) and chromium (VI). CONCLUSIONS: The chromium-matched electroplaters have no significant difference in AChE activity. It can be concluded that cholinergic inhibition with chromium (VI) is higher than nickel (II) exposure.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Laptop computers are used in various places and situations. The number of laptop users experiencing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) has increased drastically due to, in part, inappropriate workstations. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the neck and shoulder postures, and muscle activity relative to perceived pain when using the laptop at a low-height table, sofa, and bed. METHODS: Twenty male participants aged 18–25 years were randomly assigned to perform laptop computer operation at 3 workstations for 10 minutes during which neck and shoulder angles, muscle activity, and pain were recorded by using an Electrogoniometer, Electromyography (EMG), and visual analog…scale (VAS), respectively. RESULTS: Neck flexions when working at the sofa (18.6°±12.2°) and bed (17.2°±10.5°) were significantly (p < 0.05) greater than that at the low-height table (7.8°±6.5°). However, shoulder flexion when working at the low-height table (28.2°±13.0°) was significantly (p < 0.05) greater than that at the sofa (13.8°±8.6°) and bed (10.91°±7.8°). Working at the low-height table caused the shoulder flexor muscle activity to be significantly (p < 0.05) higher than working at the sofa and bed. Neck pain was reported during laptop computer use at the sofa and bed, and upper back pain when working at the low-height table. CONCLUSIONS: High neck flexion and pain were found while working at sofa and bed, whereas high muscle activity at shoulder and upper back pain were found while working at the low-height table.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal disorders are not properly managed in office workers because of their busy work life. In-house physical therapy is a good way to manage the musculoskeletal disorders in office workers. Despite the numerous advantages of in-house physical therapy, the establishment and research of in-house physical therapy were insufficient. OBJECTIVE: The purpose this study was to determine the characteristics of musculoskeletal disorders in office workers and to investigate their satisfaction with in-house physical therapy clinics and the associated factors. METHODS: In this study, 664 office workers who used in-house physical therapy clinics were surveyed for characteristics…of musculoskeletal disorders and satisfaction with in-house physical therapy clinics. RESULTS: Of these office workers, the most common causes of damage were nontraumatic (36.8%) and the most common lesion sites were the neck (30.3%) and lower back (25.6%). In the empirical characteristics of in-house physical therapy clinics, basic thermoelectric treatments were the most common (46.8%). The satisfaction with in-house physical therapy clinic was generally high. In addition, the cause of damage and treatment contents affected treatment-related and functional return-related satisfaction. CONCLUSION: In-house physical therapy, including therapeutic exercises and self-management education, is a good system to manage musculoskeletal disorders in office workers.
Keywords: Musculoskeletal diseases, personal satisfaction, return to work, health care surveys, health maintenance organization
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The quality of the places where workers take their breaks may affect the completeness of recovery in the time available. Little is known about how characteristics of a company canteen buffer the relationship between job demands and fatigue. OBJECTIVE: We addressed the possibility that the company canteen buffers the relationship between job demands and fatigue to the extent that workers perceive it to hold restorative quality. Further, we considered how the restorative quality of the canteen signals the provision of organizational support, another job resource thought to buffer the demands-fatigue relationship. ETHODS: A questionnaire was…completed by 141 male blue collars workers during their lunch break in the factory canteen of an Italian industrial organization. RESULTS: Canteen restorative quality correlated positively with organizational support. In multivariate regression analyses, the demands-fatigue association was weaker among workers who saw greater restorative quality in the canteen. This buffering effect was accounted for by a buffering effect of organizational support. CONCLUSIONS: When settings for rest in the workplace have higher restorative quality, they may better function as job resources in two respects: serving the immediate needs of workers for recovery from job demands, and signaling the interest of the organization in their well-being.
Keywords: Need for recovery, perceived organizational support, restorative environments, restorativeness, stress
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The manual brick field industry is one of the most important and oldest industries in India, where millions of male and female workers make their livelihood. OBJECTIVE: To estimate the different ergonomic risk factors associated with brick making, identify potential gender differences and the prevalence of Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), physiological and psychological stress among the brickfield workers. METHODS: Brickfield workers - 152 male and 148 female were randomly selected from the 12 brickfields. The Modified Nordic Questionnaire was applied to assess the discomfort reported among both groups of brickfield workers. Objective measurement of physiological…parameters and lung function values were also recorded. RESULTS: From this study, it was revealed that there is significantly higher discomfort reported in hands, lower back and knees among female brick molders than male brick molders. The physiological parameters did not show any significant change between male brickfield workers and female brickfield workers. The mean values of FVC, FEV1 and PEFR for females were lower than those for male brickfield workers. CONCLUSION: This study concludes that female brickfield workers reported more discomfort than male brickfield workers; perhaps in part due to their additional domestic work responsibilities.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Improving Occupational Health and Safety performance has become a challenge for industry, because investing in technology, equipment, or robust management systems has not been enough to prevent accidents in the workplace. With the expansion of commercial relations and the intensification of competitiveness in the global market, leadership is essential to prevention. OBJECTIVE: Evaluate leadership in occupational safety through a case study. METHODS: The leadership training methodology “The seven steps of leadership and worker involvement” was adapted and applied. Data collection was conducted through the application of diagnosis, training, and monitoring of the evolution of the…leadership performance in the management of occupational safety via structured interviews, monitoring of accidents and statistical analysis of the data. RESULTS: Research has shown that assertive leadership behavior positively influences performance in the management of occupational safety and the results of this case study showed a reduction in accidents with injuries of more than 50%. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence shows that there is a correlation between safety leadership behavior and the reduction in the occurrence of accidents.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Non-automated tool handles transmit a large magnitude of vibration to operators’ hands, causing discomfort and pain. Therefore, the need for a better handle design is a matter of prime concern to overcome musculoskeletal disorders such as hand-arm vibration syndrome. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the influence of handle shapes in reducing the transmission of hand-arm vibration. METHODS: Seven different handles were designed and fabricated using 3D printing technology at the SSN College of Engineering, with consideration for the anatomical shape of the hand. The frequency-weighted Root Mean Square (RMS) values of the vibration levels…transmitted were recorded at the wrist of twelve subjects, unaffected by musculoskeletal disorders. Subjective ratings of vibration and comfort perception were measured using the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion. RESULTS: The total vibration value (ahv ) of each of the six novel prototype handles (B-G) was compared to that of the reference handle denoted handle-A. The vibration reductions for handles B to G respectively were 0.542 m/s2 (14.59%), 0.481 m/s2 (12.95%), 0.351 m/s2 (9.45%), 0.270 m/s2 (7.27%), 0.407 m/s2 (10.96%) and 0.192 m/s2 (5.17%). CONCLUSIONS: A significant level of vibration reduction was achieved by the prototype handles. Qualitative feedback from the study subjects suggests that they were not aware of the levels of vibration being transmitted to the hand with each handle.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Industrialization and rising standards of living have contributed to a growing amount of solid waste and consequent disposal problems. Solid waste collection is among the occupations with the highest risk for musculoskeletal disorders. OBJECTIVE: We have conducted this study to assess musculoskeletal complaints and work-related stress levels among municipal solid waste (MSW) collectors. METHODS: The subjects were all currently employed at the MSW Department of the City of Ankara, Turkey. Validated questionnaires were completed by 267 MSW collectors. Data analysis was performed using SPSS software (22.0 version). RESULTS: Upper back pain rate was…89.1% among the collectors. 47.9% of collectors reported having had upper back pain during the last 12 months and 38.7% had experienced it during the last month. 80.9% of the sample complained of shoulder pain. Wrists/hands and neck pain rates were found at rates of 78.7% and 67.8% respectively. Psychological demands, were significantly higher among MSW collectors living with moderate-severe pain. CONCLUSIONS: Ergonomics education, healthy work habits, occupational safety training and improvements in the psychosocial work environment should be considered.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Progressive workplaces should be aware of emerging neurodiversity related issues. People are sharing their narratives of high functioning anxiety in a variety of forums. Despite news text reporting upon this phenomenon, the concept has managed to escape a research spotlight. OBJECTIVE: To critically investigate the evidence base of news article reporting of anxiety-related work performance strengths, challenges and support measures. METHODS: Thematic analysis was applied to news texts derived from CrossSearch database and internet enquiries and journal articles obtained from Scopus, Medline and Science Direct databases. RESULTS: The analysis of eight news texts…and 36 journal articles produced evidence-based themes including those of work performance strengths (quality, quantity, creativity) challenges (overreaching, perfectionism, overthinking, communication) and support measures (medical, cognitive, physical, flexibility). CONCLUSION: This investigative review reveals that anxiety-related work performance strengths, challenges and support measures as identified within news text reporting of the high functioning anxiety concept have at least some basis in the literature. It might therefore be the case that organizations who invest in supporting employees who identify with high functioning dimensions of their anxiety disorders are the ones who are ultimately rewarded with work performance advantages.
Keywords: Neurodiversity, anxiety disorders, thematic analysis, high functioning
Abstract: Mobile technology has revolutionised how we work. It is now relatively easy to work anywhere and anytime, but this has placed the onus is on mobile (or flexible) workers to set up their own work environment for comfort and ease of use. Vision is an important driver of posture, and hence visual ergonomics principles are integral for setting up digital devices. If mobile workers do not have visual ergonomics knowledge, or are unable to apply visual ergonomics knowledge to appropriately set up their work environment, then they are at risk of developing visual-related occupational health issues due to exposure to…adverse physical work environments. To address this potential health care issue, we propose the introduction of Visual Ergonomics Health Literacy. This would provide mobile workers (including school children) with the knowledge and skills to set up their work environment for comfort and ease of use, wherever they work. It is important to address this issue now before we have a widespread epidemic of discomfort and injury from not applying sound visual ergonomics principles to work environments.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Given that shift work spreads across many different business sectors, studies of its adverse effects are very topical. Much research has been done on the negative impact of shift work, but many researchers have not focused on its impact in a multicultural environment. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to map out how shift work is perceived by workers in two different shift regimes and two national groups. METHODS: The research was carried out on Czech manufacturing workers and Turkish airport ground personnel using a questionnaire. The impact of shift work was studied from…physical, mental, social and health aspects with connection to family status and gender. For statistical evaluation, Pearson’s chi-squared test of independence was used. The effect of shift work on workers’ performance and scrap rate was analysed only on the sample of the manufacturing workers. RESULTS: Fifty-five Czech male workers, 49 Turkish male workers and 60 Turkish female workers participated in the survey. The dependence between sexes was confirmed for mental aspects and sleeping routines. The main difference between nationalities is in work attitude, social aspects and sleeping routines. According to the family status, the difference was confirmed in all areas except social aspects. The lowest values of productivity and the highest scrap rate were observed on night shifts and the maximum productivity and lowest scrap rates were observed on afternoon shifts. CONCLUSIONS: Some of the basic assumptions were confirmed which suggests that a multicultural environment has an influence on the perception of shift work by the nations and gende.
Keywords: Working schedules, physical and psychological conditions, family status, performance, scrap rate
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The phenomenon of cyberbullying is on the rise among adolescents and in schools. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relationship between personality characteristics such as empathy, the tendency to implement cognitive mechanisms aimed at moral disengagement, and the use of social media. PARTICIPANTS: Italian students from first to fifth year in high school classes (n = 264). METHODS: A questionnaire was used to gather information on the sociodemographic characteristics of the participants, their use of social media, their level of empathy (Basic Empathy Scale, BES), and mechanisms of moral disengagement (Moral Disengagement Scale MDS). Two questions…were included to determine whether each participant had ever been a victim of or witness to cyberbullying. RESULTS: Results suggest that offensive behaviors are related to mechanisms of moral disengagement and to interaction using forms of communication that allow anonymity. In addition, offensive behavior appears to be related to forms of Internet addiction, while prosocial behavior is linked with cognitive empathy. CONCLUSION: In order to promote the establishment of prosocial behavior, it would seem necessary for the various players involved – schools, parents, social network developers – to make an effort to implement educational environments and virtual social networks based on a hypothesis of “design for reflection”, educating young people about the need to take the time to understand their feelings and relationships expressed via social media.
Keywords: Cyberbullying, educational environments, reflective thinking, internet addiction, ethics