Work-related musculoskeletal disorders: prevention and intervention research at NIOSH.
Sixth US-Finnish Joint Symposium on Occupational Health and Safety, People and Work, Proceedings of the Sixth FIOH-NIOSH Joint Symposium on Occupational Health and Safety, 8-10 August 1995, Espoo, Finland. People and Work - Research Reports 3. H. Nordman, J. Starck, A. Tossavainen, E. Viikari-Juntura, eds. Helsinki, Finland: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health; 1995 Aug; :135-141
Research programs conducted by NIOSH directed at preventing musculoskeletal disorders were discussed. The epidemiologic aspects of the musculoskeletal injury problem were summarized. The extant data indicated that musculoskeletal disorders present a major problem for the United States (US) workforce. Reports to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the rate of upper extremity disorders increased sharply between 1986 and 1992, and was accompanied by increases in lost work days and decreases in productivity. An analysis of compensation claims for work related low back pain (LBP) in 1989 indicated that LBP accounted for 16% of all disability claims and that 33% of the LBP claims had a average cost of 8,300 dollars per case. Because of the magnitude of the problem, NIOSH is emphasizing prevention and intervention to deal with the musculoskeletal injury problem rather than following the traditional approach for solving public health problems. Exposure assessment tools used by NIOSH to develop strategies for preventing musculoskeletal disorders were discussed. NIOSH has developed an ergonomically based hazard checklist that can be used by industrial hygienists and other safety personnel for initial ergonomic evaluations of jobs and tasks. The checklist is currently being tested. NIOSH has developed and published a lifting equation for calculating recommended weight limits for specific two handed symmetric lifting tasks. Research efforts directed at evaluating the ability of back belts to prevent low back injuries were described. Specific interventions that NIOSH has used to reduce the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders were discussed. The discussion cited approaches that were successful in reducing the number of musculoskeletal disorders at a major motorcycle manufacturing company and in the meatpacking industry and described laboratory studies directed at reducing musculoskeletal strain in video display terminal operators.
Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Epidemiology; Risk-analysis; Mathematical-models; Work-analysis; Physical-stress; Back-injuries; Injury-prevention; Work-capability; Safety-research; Health-standards
Nordman-H; Starck-J; Tossavainen-A; Viikari-Juntura-E
Sixth US-Finnish Joint Symposium on Occupational Health and Safety, People and Work, Proceedings of the Sixth FIOH-NIOSH Joint Symposium on Occupational Health and Safety, 8-10 August 1995, Espoo, Finland. People and Work - Research Reports 3