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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 impact of positive social relationships on the health of municipal employees in the elder care sector in Sweden needs further examination. OBJECTIVE: To explore the association between health and relationships among elderly care employees using a salutogenic perspective. METHOD: Survey of all employees (n = 997) in special housing, home care and Disabled Support and Services in a Swedish municipality. The questionnaire, which had a salutogenic perspective, included information on self-rated health from the previously validated SHIS (Salutogenic Health Indicator Scale), psychosocial work environment and experiences, social climate, and health-promoting workplace relationships.…RESULTS: The response rate was 69% . Results of a multivariable linear regression model showed four significant predictors of health: general work experiences, colleague belongingness and positive relationships with managers and care recipients. In another model, colleague belongingness was significantly related to satisfaction with care recipients, work, length of employment as well as general work experiences and relationships with managers. CONCLUSION: Strengthening of positive work relationships, not only between workmates but also with managers and care recipients, seems to be an essential area for employee health promotion. Colleague belongingness may be deepened by development of a positive work climate, including satisfactory work experiences, positive manager relationships and a stable work force.
Keywords: Health promotion, salutogenic, belongingness, questionnaire
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-10, 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Despite offering many benefits, direct manual anthropometric measurement method can be problematic due to their vulnerability to measurement errors. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this literature review was to determine, whether or not the currently published anthropometric studies of school children, related to ergonomics, mentioned or evaluated the variables precision, reliability or accuracy in the direct manual measurement method. METHODS: Two bibliographic databases, and the bibliographic references of all the selected papers were used for finding relevant published papers in the fields considered in this study. RESULTS: Forty-six (46) studies met the criteria previously…defined for this literature review. However, only ten (10) studies mentioned at least one of the analyzed variables, and none has evaluated all of them. Only reliability was assessed by three papers. Moreover, in what regards the factors that affect precision, reliability and accuracy, the reviewed papers presented large differences. This was particularly clear in the instruments used for the measurements, which were not consistent throughout the studies. Additionally, it was also clear that there was a lack of information regarding the evaluators’ training and procedures for anthropometric data collection, which are assumed to be the most important issues that affect precision, reliability and accuracy. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the review of the literature, it was possible to conclude that the considered anthropometric studies had not focused their attention to the analysis of precision, reliability and accuracy of the manual measurement methods. Hence, and with the aim of avoiding measurement errors and misleading data, anthropometric studies should put more efforts and care on testing measurement error and defining the procedures used to collect anthropometric data.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Automotive workers are engaged in occupational activities like engine tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotation, wheel balancing, replacing filters etc. These activities involve prolonged sitting, awkward postures, squatting and kneeling, which are known risk factors to cause patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). OBJECTIVE: This paper aims to investigate the effects of selected biomechanical rehabilitative exercises (BRE) on integrated electromyography (iEMG) activity of vastus medialis oblique (VMO) and vastus lateralis (VL) muscles so as to identify suitable ones to alleviate PFPS of automotive workers. METHODS: Eleven subjects, automotive workers having PFPS, performed four BRE: (1) short arc quad…with neutral hip position (SAQN), (2) short arc quad with externally rotated hip position (SAQER), (3) medial tibial rotation (MTR), and (4) hip adduction (HA). RESULTS: Mean iEMG activity of VMO muscle is more than that of VL muscle during all BRE. However, one way ANOVA with repeated measures indicates that mean iEMG activity of VMO muscle is significantly higher than that of VL muscle during SAQER only. VMO/VL ratio is not significantly different across the four BRE. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest a range of options for choosing appropriate BRE for treating automotive workers with PFPS. However, SAQER may directly be recommended for preferential strengthening of VMO muscle.
Keywords: Vastus medialis oblique, vastus lateralis, short arc quad exercises, medial tibial rotation, hip adduction
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-7, 2018
Abstract: Background: Road accidents may impact victims’ physical and/or mental health and socio-occupational life, notably including return to work. Objectives: To assess whether the occupational medical consequences sustained by subjects injured in road accidents occurring in a work-related context differ from those associated with private accidents. Methods: 778 adults who were in work or occupational training at the time of their accident were included. Two groups were distinguished: 354 (45.5%) injured in road accidents occurring in a work-related context (commuting or on duty) and 424 (54.5%) injured in a private accident. The groups were compared on medical…and occupational factors assessed on prospective follow-up at 6 months and 1 and 3 years. Multivariate analysis explored for factors associated at 6 months and 1 year with sick leave following the accident and duration of sick leave. Results: There were no significant differences between groups for demographic data apart from a slightly higher injury severity in private accidents (32.5% of private accidents with MAIS3+(Maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale greater or equal to 3) vs. 23.7% for work-related accidents, p = 0.007). Victims of work-related accidents were more often on sick leave (OR = 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1–2.9). Although the length of sick leave is higher for work-related accidents that for private accidents, multivariate analysis showed that the injury severity and the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are significant factors to explain the time to return to work. There were no significant differences according to occupational impact during follow-up, notably including sick-leave duration, number of victims returning to work within 3 years and number of victims out of work due to incapacity. Conclusions: In the ESPARR (follow-up study of a road-accident population in the Rhône administrative county: Etude de Suivi d ’une Population d ’Accidentés de la Route dans le Rhône ) cohort, the fact that a road accident occurred in a work-related context did not affect the occupational consequences.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Physicians working in a tertiary care injured worker clinic are faced with clinical decision-making that must balance the needs of patients and society in managing complex clinical problems that are complicated by the work-workplace context. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to describe and characterize the decision-making process of upper extremity specialized surgeons when managing injured workers within a specialized worker’s compensation clinic. METHOD: Surgeons were interviewed in a semi-structured manner. Following each interview, the surgeon was also observed in a clinic visit during a new patient assessment, allowing observation of the interactional patterns…between surgeon and patient, and comparison of the process described in the interview to what actually occurred during clinic visits. RESULTS: The primary central theme emerging from the surgeon interviews and the clinical observation was the focus on the importance of comprehensive assessment to make the first critical decision: an accurate diagnosis. Two subthemes were also found. The first of these involved the decision whether to proceed to management strategies or to continue with further investigation if the correct diagnosis is uncertain. Once the central theme of diagnosis was achieved, a second subtheme was highlighted; selecting appropriate management options, given the complexities of managing the injured worker, the workplace, and the compensation board. CONCLUSIONS: This study illustrates that upper extremity surgeons rely on their training and experience with upper extremity conditions to follow a sequential but iterative decision-making process to provide a more definitive diagnosis and treatment plan for workers with injuries that are often complex. The surgeons are challenged by the context which takes them out of their familiar zone of typical clinical practice to deal with the interactions between the injury, worker, work, workplace and insurer.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Enriched environment at work (EEW), in terms of high mental demands at work, may be of great relevance for preventative efforts against cognitive decline and dementia as previous studies have shown. Yet, there is the concern that high EEW mental demands may accelerate stress and cause burnout. OBJECTIVE: The aim of our study was to investigate how EEW mental demands are related to stress and burnout. METHOD: A convenience sample of employees in the city area of Leipzig, Germany, was asked to fill out the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory and indicate for each EEW mental demand the…level experienced, demandingness, and stressfulness. RESULTS: Multivariate linear regression and structural equation modelling suggested that only some EEW mental demands were perceived as stressful when the level of the respective EEW mental demand was high. Higher stressfulness was associated with burnout symptoms – however, high levels of EEW mental demands were not significantly associated with burnout (neither directly nor indirectly). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings implied that subjectively perceived stressfulness seems to be a more relevant aspect than the actual level of the demand itself. However, further studies are necessary to validate our findings.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Depression is among the major causes of disability with a negative impact on both daily life and work performance. Whilst depression is the primary cause of sick-leave and unemployment in today’s workplace there is a lack of knowledge of the needs of individuals with depression regarding their return-to-work (RTW) process. OBJECTIVE: To explore which factors are of critical importance for people suffering from depression and who also are unemployed in their RTW-process and to explore the impact of two vocational approaches on the service users’ experiences. The study included participants in two vocational rehabilitation approaches; Individual Enabling…and Support (IES) and Traditional Vocational Rehabilitation (TVR). METHOD: Qualitative methods were applied to explore critical factors in the RTW-process. Individuals with affective disorders including depression and bipolar disorder were included. RESULTS Three themes emerged as critical factors; Experiencing hope and power, Professionals ’ positive attitudes, beliefs and behaviours, and Employing a holistic perspective and integrating health and vocational service. CONCLUSION This study has demonstrated critical factors for the return-to-work process as experienced by persons with depression. To experience hope and power, to meet professionals that believe “you can work”, who use a person-centred and holistic service approach, are such factors necessary for gaining a real job. In particular, professionals in TVR need to embrace this understanding since their services were not experienced as including these elements.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Hard hats are among the personal protective equipment (PPE) used in many industries to reduce the impact of any falling object on the skull and also to prevent head and brain injuries. However, the practice of wearing a safety helmet during working hours is still low. This is due to the physical discomfort perceived by safety helmet users. OBJECTIVE: Given the unpopularity of the current hard hat, the general perception of workers concerning its use and its measurements are the determining factors in the development of a new hard hat. METHOD: A cross-sectional study was…conducted in which 132 male oil palm harvesters between 19 and 60 years of age were selected from among the employees of the same oil palm harvesting company. A set of questionnaires was developed to collect their socio-demographic information as well as their perceptions of comfort and the prevalence of head injury. In addition, a set of measuring instruments, including Martin’s anthropometry set, was used for head measurement and data collection in respect of the current hard hat. In this research, six respondents were randomly selected to attend an interview session for qualitative assessment. RESULTS Based on the questionnaires, the unpopularity in the use of the hard hat was largely influenced by factors related to poor design, in general, and, specifically, poor ventilation (64%), load (67% ), and physical discomfort (42% ). The measurements of the anthropometric parameters and the dimensions of the hard hat also showed a significant mismatch. CONCLUSION: The unpopularity of the current hard hat among oil palm harvesters stemmed from the discomfort from wearing, which showed that the development of a new hard hat could lead to better usage and the greater likelihood of wearing a hard hat throughout the working day.
Keywords: Helmet, harvester, safety, comfort
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-6, 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND: People who work with the steam boilers in palm oil mills are vulnerable to accidents, notably to explosions, whenever failures of any kind occur during their operation. OBJECTIVE: This cross-sectional study was conducted in palm oil mills to determine the knowledge, attitude, and perception (KAP) concerning the risk management of steam boilers among workers in palm oil mills. METHODS: A total of 50 workers who were working with steam boilers and/or involved in managing the operation of steam boilers with at least three years of working experience in the palm oil industry were purposively sampled.…A self-administrated questionnaire consisting of four main parts – socio-demographic and occupational information, knowledge, attitude, and perception of the risk management of steam boilers was distributed. The knowledge, attitude, and perception were calculated based on a Likert-type scale. RESULTS: This study found that 56% of boiler workers had a good level of knowledge (mean score = 77.22±19.6), 72% had a good attitude toward risk (mean score = 83.17±5.85), and 64% had a good perception of risk (mean score = 79.50±11.22). The prevalence of accidents was 16%, and, for near misses, it was 24%. The cause of the reported accidents was largely attributed to carelessness, specifically at 80%. Apart from that, there was a positive association (χ 2 = 6.56; p = 0.010) between attitude and accidents. CONCLUSION: This study found that the workers had good KAP levels of risk management of steam boilers in palm oil mills. However, there is a need for the employers to revise the training of workers and ensure its effectiveness in heightening the awareness of risks and accidents despite the high level of KAP.
Keywords: Hazards, occupational health, prevalence, training
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-10, 2018