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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: Due to the growth of information in the urban rail environment, there is a need to better understand the ergonomics profile underpinning visual behaviour in the substantive train driver. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the tasks and activities of urban/metropolitan passenger train drivers in order to better understand the nature of the visual demands in their task activities. METHODS: Data were collected from 34 passenger train drivers in four different Australian states.…The research approach used a novel participative ergonomics methodology that fused interviews and observations with generative tools. Data analysis was conducted thematically. RESULTS: Results suggested participants did not so much drive their trains, as manage the intensity of visually demanding work held in their environment. The density of this information and the opacity of the task, invoked an ergonomics profile more closely aligned with diagnostic and error detection than actual train regulation. CONCLUSIONS: The paper discusses the relative proportion of strategies corresponding with specific tasks, the visual-perceptual load in substantive activities, and the requisite visual skills behoving navigation in the urban rail environment. These findings provide the basis for developing measures of complexity to further specify the visual demands in passenger train driving.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: It is well established that environmental factors can have impact upon an injured person's recovery and return-to-work outcomes. To date, there has been no cohesive model to provide theoretical understanding of the way in which these divergent factors combine to create disability behaviours. OBJECT: Development of a conceptual model for understanding the development of disability behavior. METHODS: Interpolation from existing neuroplasticity theory to observed behaviors and studies of behavior in the…workers' compensation environment, including existing research concerning predictors for disability. RESULTS: The paper describes a conceptual model for understanding instances of disability that are not necessarily attributable to physical harm. Preliminary testing provides support for the model. CONCLUSIONS: Factors that contribute to the formation of a neural network supporting the behavior of learned disability are described. From that description, intervention methods to prevent or resolve so-called "needless disability" are discussed.
Keywords: Neuroplasticity, disability management, return to work
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-12, 2013
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Manual material handling (MMH) task is the most common cause of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Operators carrying unstable loads were recently shown to be at greater risk of back injury compared to workers carrying stable loads. OBJECTIVE: This study focused on developing a device to minimize trunk muscle activity and cardiovascular demand while handling a 19-liter bottle. METHOD: After evaluating several designs, one was selected to be developed, manufactured and tested through an experimental study. Healthy participants (n = 42) manually carried a 19-liter bottle. The carrying technique (i.e., carrying a lateral load while holding the…load using the dominant hand, pulling the load using the developed device, carrying the load on the back using the developing device) was the independent variable. The muscular activities (e.g., neck extensor, upper trapezius, pectoralis major, deltoid medial, rectus abdominis, and erector spinae muscles of the dominant side), cardiac costs, plantar pressures, walking speeds, and subjective measures were the dependent variables. RESULTS: Results show that carrying the developed device like a backpack significantly reduced trunk muscle activity, cardiovascular demand, and plantar pressure compared to the usual practice. The present results suggest that carrying a 19-liter water bottle using the developed device is likely to contribute to lower MSDs. CONCLUSION: Implementation of the develop device recommended to lessen the risk of injury when handling unstable loads such as liquids.
Keywords: Manual handling, human factors, ergonomic, intervention, health and safety
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-11, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: For several years, the transportation industry has been concerned about a severe shortage of professional truck drivers. Studies investigating the reasons found that poor working conditions and stresses and strains resulting from physiological and psychological job demands have had a negative impact on drivers’ health and ability to work. Nevertheless, until now, most employers have refrained from offering measures to support the work ability and well-being of drivers, mainly due to financial pressures in the industry. OBJECTIVE: The present study was aimed at designing adequate and affordable measures to support drivers’ health. METHOD: With reference…to the Work Ability Index and the house of work ability (Ilmarinen & Tuomi, 2004), 56 truck drivers participated in guided interviews about their working conditions and health-related problems as well as their attitudes, experiences, and desires with respect to being offered supportive measures by their employers. RESULTS: The measures derived are specific and realizable and expected to be widely accepted by professional drivers. They are designed to elicit a positive attitude in the drivers toward exercising and to help them overcome related psychological barriers. CONCLUSION: The implementation of the recommended measures can be expected to support drivers’ work ability and help reduce the frictional costs of their employers.
Keywords: Staff turnover, corporate health promotion, occupational health, working conditions, work ability index
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-15, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The evidence literature suggests that physical therapy practitioners are subjected to a high probability of acquiring work-related injuries, but only a few studies have specifically investigated Taiwanese physical therapy practitioners. OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to determine the relationships among individual and group hospital-level factors that contribute to the medical expenses for the occupational injuries of physical therapy practitioners in Taiwan. PARTICIPANTS: Physical therapy practitioners in Taiwan with occupational injuries were selected from the 2013 National Health Insurance Research Databases (NHIRD). METHODS: The age, gender, job title, hospitals attributes, and outpatient data of…physical therapy practitioners who sustained an occupational injury in 2013 were obtained with SAS 9.3. SPSS 20.0 and HLM 7.01 were used to conduct descriptive and hierarchical linear model analyses, respectively. RESULTS: The job title of physical therapy practitioners at the individual level and the hospital type at the group level exert positive effects on per person medical expenses. Hospital hierarchy moderates the individual-level relationships of age and job title with the per person medical expenses. CONCLUSION: Considering that age, job title, and hospital hierarchy affect medical expenses for the occupational injuries of physical therapy practitioners, we suggest strengthening related safety education and training and elevating the self-awareness of the risk of occupational injuries of physical therapy practitioners to reduce and prevent the occurrence of such injuries.
Keywords: National Health Insurance Research Database, work-related injuries, medical expenses
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-9, 2017
Abstract: Background: Need for recovery (NFR) and prolonged fatigue are two important concepts for monitoring short- and long-term outcomes of psychological job demands within employees. For effective monitoring it is, however, important to gain insight in the reproducibility of the instruments that are used OBJECTIVE: The objective was to assess reproducibility of the NFR scale and Checklist Individual Strength (CIS), measuring NFR and prolonged fatigue respectively, in the working population. METHODS: Longitudinal data from the Maastricht Cohort Study (MCS) study was used, capturing 12,140 employees from 45 different companies at baseline. A ‘working’ and ‘returning to work’…sample was conceived for different intervals; 4-month, 1-year, and 2-year. RESULTS: Reliability, assessed with the interclass correlation, was high within employees with a stable work environment for the NFR scale (0.78) and CIS (0.75). The smallest detectable change, assessing the agreement, was 41.20 for the NFR scale and 31.10 for the CIS. CONCLUSIONS: Reliability was satisfactory for both the NFR scale and CIS. The agreement of both scales to detect a changes within employees was, however, less optimal. It is, therefore, suggested that, ideally, both instruments are placed within a broader range of instruments to effectively monitor the outcomes of psychological job demands.
Keywords: Occupational health, public health, psychometrics, health surveillence, mental health
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-14, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Job demand control support model (JDCS) is one of the most widely used theoretical models relating job characteristics to health and wellbeing. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the predictive power of the JDCS model for determining job satisfaction and fatigue in uniformed Swedish police. An additional aim was to determine if predictive power of the model would be improved with the addition of two occupation specific items. METHODS: Questionnaire data, based upon the Swedish Work Environment Survey were collected from Swedish police (n = 4244). A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was run to explore…the predictive value of the model and to determine if the additional variables improved predictive power with respect to job satisfaction and fatigue. RESULTS: Regression analysis demonstrated that the JDSC model had high predictive power in relation to job satisfaction and fatigue. Job demands was the strongest predictor of fatigue (14%), while support was the strongest predictor of job satisfaction (12%). The addition of exposure to threats significantly improved predictive power for both job satisfaction and fatigue, while addition of shift work did not significantly affect predictive power of the model. CONCLUSIONS: Workplace interventions to address issues related to job satisfaction and fatigue in police should focus on maintaining a bearable level of job demands and provision of adequate support.
Keywords: Fatigue, health, occupation, psychosocial, work
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-10, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: While a considerable body of research has studied safety climate and its role as a leading indicator of organizational safety, much of this work has been conducted with Western manufacturing samples. OBJECTIVE: The current study puts emphasis on the cross-validation of a safety climate model in the non-Western industrial context of Iranian petrochemical industries. METHODS: The current study was performed in one petrochemical company in Iran. The scale was developed through conducting a literature review followed by a qualitative study with expert participation. After performing a screening process, the initial number of items on the…scale was reduced to 68. RESULTS: Ten dimensions (including management commitment, workers’ empowerment, communication, blame culture, safety training, job satisfaction, interpersonal relationship, supervision, continuous improvement, and reward system) together with 37 items were extracted from the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to measure safety climate. Acceptable ranges of internal consistency statistics for the sub-scales were observed. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) confirmed the construct validity of the developed safety climate scale for the petrochemical industry workers. The results of reliability showed that the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for the designed scale was 0.94. The ICC was obtained 0.92. CONCLUSION: This study created a valid and reliable scale for measuring safety climate in petrochemical industries.
Keywords: Organizational factors, scale development, leading indicator
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-9, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is important to the development of an organization. Research into factors that foster OCB and the underlying processes are therefore substantially crucial. OBJECTIVE: The current study aimed to test the association between trait self-control and OCB and the mediating role of consideration for future consequence. METHOD: Four hundred and ninety-four Chinese employees (275 men, 219 women) took part in the study. Participants completed a battery of self-report measures online that assessed trait self-control, tendencies of consideration of future consequence, and organizational citizenship behavior. Path analysis was conducted and bootstrapping technique (N… = 5000), a resampling method that is asymptotically more accurate than the standard intervals using sample variance and assumptions of normality, was used to judge the significance of the mediation. RESULTS: Results of path analysis showed that trait self-control was positively related to OCB. More importantly, the “trait self-control-OCB” link was mediated by consideration of future consequence-future, but not by consideration of future consequence-immediate. CONCLUSIONS: Employees with high trait self-control engage in more organizational citizenship behavior and this link can be partly explained by consideration of future consequence-future.
Keywords: Pro-organizational behavior, self-regulation, time orientation, workplace
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-7, 2017