Potpourri

Aging in the work force

by Craig Halls
Older workers are valuable workers, but as the body ages there are numerous changes that occur. This presentation will discuss changes to the physical, auditory, visual, and cognitive systems. Most importantly, solutions and interventions will be offered to address these changes. Attendees will leave this presentation with effective but low cost solutions for addressing issues related to aging in their work force. View presentation

The case for pre-placement functional testing: The evidence

by Jenny Legge
Functional testing has traditionally been the realm of therapists involved in end-stage rehabilitation or medicolegal claims for injured workers. The tide is turning. As our industry evolves and matures, functional testing is becoming more popular as a positive injury prevention, wellness, and health surveillance tool. But is it? Available research will be presented and discussed. Validated study results from an Australian coal mine will also be presented. A matrix for evaluating the suitability of functional testing will be introduced so that employers, insurers, and providers can weigh their options and make informed decisions based on their individual priorities. View presentation

Effective occupational safety and health management system: Integration of OHSAS 18001, ILO-OSH 2001, and OR-OSHA

by Awwad Dababneh
The Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) specification OHSAS 18001 has been developed as a recognizable occupational health and safety management system standard against which management systems can be assessed and certified. OHSAS 18001 is compatible with the ISO 9001 (quality) and ISO 14001 (environmental) management systems standards, which facilitates the integration of quality, environmental, and occupational health and safety management systems by organizations.

This publication presents a study that compared the specifications of three standards/guidelines for the management of occupational health and safety: OHSAS 18001, the International Labour Organization (ILO) guidelines, and Oregon state OSHA guidelines. The three standards had high consistency, agreement on generalities, and little differences in regards to some details, however OR-OSHA included more details to guarantee the effectiveness and practicality of the safety management system. It was concluded that integration of the requirements of OHSAS, ILO, and OR-OSHA will lead to a comprehensive, practical, clear, and easy to implement safety management system. This approach was adopted by the Nuqul Group (one of the Middle East's leading industrial groups). View paper | View presentation

Ergonomic assessment of the Da Vinci robot

by Rebecca Iden, Jaclyn Baron, James G. Koshy
A risk assessment was performed on the use of the Da Vinci robot that aids in performing a minimally invasive prostate removal surgery. This laparoscopic prostatectomy is performed by the surgeon who controls the surgical tools at the surgeons' console and is assisted by staff around the patient's OR bed. This method allows for smaller incisions, resulting in reduced blood loss during surgery. This procedure comes with many ergonomic problems for both the surgeon and the OR staff. In order to determine the potential ergonomic-related injury risk to the surgical staff, an ergonomic risk assessment was conducted and risk factors were identified. Various recommendations were made to reduce related risk. Modifications were recommended to address work flow and infection control issues due to the OR layout, and solutions to reduce potential medical errors during surgery. View presentation

The ergonomic implications of today's mosaic work force

by Gretchen Gscheidle
Today's youth are the digital generation. Increased use of computers and communications technologies also increases risk of harm, particularly in the form of repetitive stress injuries and musculoskeletal disorders. For these workers to contribute their fullest, they will likely require workplace modifications and schedule adjustments that address the changes aging brings. Meeting the needs of today's mosaic work force requires an increased focus on universal design. This design must consider human limitations and disabilities in creating environments appropriate for an aging body that also benefits younger workers. View presentation

Evaluation of effectiveness of ergonomic pipettes

by Ming Lun Lu
This presentation involves the evaluation of the effectiveness of a new ergonomic pipette for use in laboratory work. A quasi-experimental study design involving 20 participants (10 from each lab-experimental and control group), was employed in the study. Three months after the initial baseline exposure assessment and training participants were evaluated performing a controlled pipetting simulation of two common pipetting tasks while sitting and standing using two traditional pipettes and the ergonomically redesigned pipette. Intervention effectiveness was primarily assessed via statistically significant reductions in the MSD physical risk factors with the redesigned pipette versus the traditional pipettes. View paper

The office challenge: Meeting today's accessibility standards with traditional equipment

by Tim Archer 
How do traditional office storage methods, such as file cabinets and shelving, stack up against today's legislated accessibility standards? What other choices are available? Today's maturing work force are being asked to work with antiquated systems that lead to safety issues and injury. This presentation offers a detailed comparison of systems and discusses alternatives. View presentation

Post-offer screening: A cost-effective approach to injury prevention

by Deborah Lechner
Post-offer screening can improve productivity and profitability. A recent study indicates that for every dollar spent on post-offer screening, $18 can be saved in injury-related costs. However, there are legal issues related to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA) that employers should be aware of as they establish post-offer screening programs. This presentation will review the EEOC and ADA considerations and describe a step-by-step process for developing a defensible post-offer screen. The outcome metrics that should be monitored as the screening progresses to document the success of the process will also be addressed. View paper

A pressing question: How much contact pressure is too much?

by Tom Albin
Excessive contact pressure is commonly listed as an ergonomic risk factor; however, a quantitative understanding of contact pressure is less common. We experience contact pressure every day when standing, sitting, or lying down, generally without ill effects. Supporting the body is understood to be a good thing, but there can be no support without contact pressure. On the other hand, decubitus ulcers (pressure sores) are an example of the adverse effects of contact pressure. This presentation will review the current literature with regard to contact pressure, discussing potential causal mechanisms for injury such as capillary closing pressures, shear forces, intermittent versus static pressure applications, and length of exposure to pressure. It will also discuss application of pressure at the surface and resultant internal pressures. Finally, it will provide some general guidelines regarding evaluation of contact pressure. View presentation

Small lot delivery systems: Ergonomic guidelines for design and analyses

by Scott Vandenbergh, Wayne Maynard
With the advent of lean manufacturing and small lot delivery systems (SLDS), material handling has evolved from a mechanized system to a manual system for many in the automotive industry. As a result, there are increased physical demands imposed on material handlers. An easy-to-use guideline document has been created to address the ergonomic-related concerns associated with this evolution in material handling strategy. This guideline provides a systematic process for analyzing and evaluating musculoskeletal disorder risk factors in SLDS. Recommendations for design of typical SLDS material handling tasks and material handling systems are presented. View presentation

University and insurance carrier bring high tech tools to industry

by Dr. William H. Moore, Mr. Karl Siegfried CECD
A major university, USM, has joined forces with a major insurance carrier, MEMIC. This collaboration allows educators to use high-tech equipment like the lumbar motion monitor (LMM) to assess the worker stress workers. Utilizing the data provided from the LMM, students and safety professionals can establish baseline stress levels for individual workers. The data is evaluated, and along with worker input, baselines can be established, corrective actions can be implemented, and impact of change can be assessed. Workplace stress level job analysis is the first step toward corrective action in the establishment of a stress-free work environment.  View presentation

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