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Work-related musculoskeletal symptoms and injuries among operating engineers: a review and guidelines for improvement.

Authors
Zimmermann-CL; Cook-TM; Rosecrance-JC
Source
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1997 Jul; 12(7):480-484
NIOSHTIC No.
20024435
Abstract
Among construction workers, operating engineers encounter job factors considerably different from those of their counterparts in other construction trades. While many professionals in the construction trades are faced with risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMD) such as heavy lifting, carrying, power tool use, and forceful repeated motions, operating engineers are confronted with more subtle stressors. The sustained and awkward postures they are required to maintain, the controls they are required to operate, and the vibrating environments in which they work are major risk factors for WMDs among operating engineers. This article reviews the current literature and recommendations for improvement. Considering symptom and disability prevalence rates along with biomechanical and physiological considerations, four primary recommendations to reduce WMDs are indicated. Equipment designs should minimize the magnitude and frequency of vibration reaching the operator. Placement of equipment controls within the cab should minimize reach distance and trunk flexion and rotation. Cab designs should provide maximum operator visibility from an upright seated posture, decreasing postural loads associated with trunk and neck flexion. Operators should be encouraged and allowed to take regular breaks during the workday, minimizing the effects of a sustained sitting posture. These modifications in equipment and work practices should reduce the rates of musculoskeletal disorders associated with the operating engineer's profession and work environment
Keywords
Construction-workers; Road-construction; Equipment-operators; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Musculoskeletal-system; Injury-prevention; Vibration; Vibration-effects; Biomechanics
Contact
Injury Prevention Research Center, Biomechanics and Ergonomics Facility, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
CODEN
AOEHE9
Publication Date
19970701
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
2937066
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Construction
Fiscal Year
1997
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-306169
Issue of Publication
7
ISSN
1047-322X
Source Name
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
State
IA; DC
Performing Organization
Center to Protect Workers' Rights, Washington, DC
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