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Service and Support Industries

Comparison of three techniques for tying rebar for freeway bridge decks

by Jim Albers
This presentation focuses on the evaluation of the effectiveness of an ergonomic automatic rebar tying device designed to reduce the risk of low back and upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders. A quasi-experimental repeated measures / randomized ordered study with ANOVA was conducted during rebar tying while constructing the deck on a new freeway bridge. The traditional method was compared using an automatic tier with and without an extension. The study found that use of the automatic tier reduced worker exposure to risk factors for hand-wrist disorder and use of the tier plus extension reduced exposure to low back risk factors. Productivity increased with the use of the automatic tier alone. View paper

Consumer's Digest: Using human-interface design to select human-moving equipment

by Miriam Joffe
With patient handling injuries rising to the top of BLS statistics, there is increasing interest in identifying equipment that protects the integrity of the patient and the well-being of the caretaker. With the rising cost of health care, these needs are being met in private homes and facilities that are not equipped to handle the ongoing physical demands. Current research indicates that the use of good body mechanics alone is not sufficient in protecting the recipient and the provider. The principles of manual material handling are now being integrated into patient handling devices because this is the only safe way to respect and protect both sides of the equation. This presentation was developed to highlight the principles of good human-interface design so cost-effective decisions are made during product selection and application. View presentation

Ergonomic best practices for the residential construction framing contractor

by Kevin Simonton
An analysis of Pinnacol Assurance claims from 2001-2004 was conducted to identify musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) trends by frequency, cost, cause, accident type, and body part by risk class. Pinnacol Assurance is Colorado's oldest and largest worker's compensation insurance provider covering 56 percent of all employers in the state. Pinnacol provides guaranteed coverage to any Colorado-based employer regardless of size or risk. Using a composite score comparison of risk classes by claims frequency, incidence, gross incurred cost, and premium size, risk class 5801 (residential carpenters) was identified as the highest risk industry for MSDs. As a result, the industry was approached to help develop tools for ergonomic best practices. A booklet of ergonomic best practices was developed based on field evaluations of several different contractor's work processes. A summary of the best practices will be presented along with tips on communicating these practices with contractors. View presentation

Ergonomic issues in paramedic duty: A case study

by Stephen Morrissey
Paramedics in emergency response services often experience a high rate of shoulder and back injuries due to their duties and equipment designs. This study describes an consultation with a large ambulance service to identify hazards or conditions that could be contributing to these injuries. After ride-alongs with crews and extended employee interviews, a variety of design and work practice issues were identified. A range of engineering and administrative controls were developed for current equipment. Recommendations for engineering changes to be made in retrofitting equipment and purchase of new equipment were developed. The findings and recommendations discussed are applicable to other locations and operations. View paper | View presentation

Interventions in agriculture

by Ira Janowitz
This presentation will review ergonomic interventions in large commercial nurseries and vineyards. Our analysis utilized the NIOSH lifting equation, the lumbar motion monitor, estimates of energy expenditure, and other approaches to assess risk factor exposure and symptom levels before and after the introduction of new tools and equipment. In the first intervention, handles were developed for moving potted plants in a nursery in order to reduce lumbar flexion and provide a comfortable grip for the worker. The handles are height adjustable and are designed to keep the wrist in a neutral posture while carrying the load. In the second intervention, modified bins and a prototype of a mechanical grape mover were evaluated for harvesting grapes. Both interventions proved to be field practical and resulted in reduced estimated probability of low back disorder, lower worker pain and symptoms, lower job related fatigue, and equal or lower estimated energy demand for the job. There was no significant effect on productivity. View paper

An introduction to lean principles for ergonomists and engineers for the health care industry

by Jerome Congleton
Practicing ergonomists in many companies could benefit greatly by implementing the concepts of lean manufacturing. One of these industries where lean manufacturing and ergonomics is  needed is the health care industry. For example, nursing homes have been identified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as the most dangerous places to work in America. This workshop offers an introduction to the entire lean manufacturing system and it's application in the health care industry. Understood as a system rather than individual tools and techniques, the participants will see that lean and ergonomics can be used in service and administrative functions to increase process effectiveness. This workshop will emphasize hands-on application of commonly used lean and ergonomic tools and techniques. Participants will learn skills they can take home and start using immediately. View presentation

Overcoming barriers to implementing ergonomics programs in health care: Case studies from the field

by Lynda Enos
The use of ergonomics as a tool to prevent employee and patient injury is still relatively new to the health care industry. This session takes a look at the joint labor-management-government collaborative approach being used in many health care facilities in Oregon to implement successful ergonomics and safe patient handling programs. Case studies from large to small acute care hospitals will be used to discuss how facilities deal with common challenges when addressing ergonomics-related issues. Ergonomics program structure and cost justification will be discussed. View presentation

Patient falls in health care: Ergonomic interventions

by Kent Wilson
Thirty percent of people over 65 years of age fall each year. This is a major concern for health care facilities. Hospitals experience between 2.2 -7.0 falls for every 1000 inpatient days. Eleven percent will result in an injury to the patient that will increase their length of stay on average 12 days and cost an additional $19,000. For many facilities, having an environment that meets their patient's ergonomic needs would greatly improve their outcomes. This presentation will review fall programs from an ergonomic and process management perspective. View presentation

Pilot project: The impact of a wellness intervention on workplace health

by Helen Tam, Elaine J. Lee
Traditionally, musculoskeletal injury (MSI) prevention programs in health care have focused on education, ergonomic training, and engineering controls. However, health care continues to be a leading industry in work-related injuries, specifically in the area of MSI. Since studies show a correlation between MSI and psychosocial factors, Vancouver Coastal Health explored a nonconventional way to reduce the risks of injury to workers by implementing an employer-provided wellness massage therapy program. Massage therapy was provided for workers at George Pearson Centre, a residential care facility in Vancouver, for adults with severe disabilities. Together with OHSAH, the program was evaluated for its impact on workplace morale, job satisfaction, and pain and discomfort. This presentation will outline the methodology used in evaluating this program, the results of the study, and how the results may impact future MSI reduction programs. View presentation

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