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Identification of ergonomics interventions used to reduce musculoskeletal loading for building installation tasks.

Authors
Albers-J; Estill-C; MacDonald-L
Source
Appl Ergon 2005 Jul; 36(4):427-439
NIOSHTIC No.
20026869
Abstract
Skilled workers in the mechanical and electrical installation (M/EI) building and construction trades experience high rates of disabling work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). The M/EI trades involve installing piping; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and electrical systems in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. In the absence of an ergonomics standard in the United States, some building and construction contractors, including M/EI sector contractors, have implemented various ergonomics interventions on their worksites on a voluntary basis. However, no data were available to determine the type of voluntary control measures being implemented, the task-specific hazards for which control measures needed to be developed or refined, and perceived barriers to improving hazard control. As part of a larger effort to obtain this data, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) organized a stakeholder meeting to gather information regarding ergonomics interventions or 'best practices' by M/EI contractors and tradespeople. The attendees included 39 industry representatives, 17 construction ergonomics researchers from government and academia, and four ergonomics consultants with experience in the construction industry. Participants spent more than 50% of time meeting in small trade-specific breakout sessions. According to the participants, tasks common to the three trades included (1) drill holes and shoot fasteners; (2) place and install systems, and (3) lift and carry materials and equipment. Engineering interventions described in the stakeholder meeting included tools, equipment, and engineered building materials; administrative controls largely consisted of training and education programs and modifications of work and management practice. Most participants believed that there were significant limits to the impact individual contractors and tradespeople could have in leading ergonomics improvement in the building and construction industry.
Keywords
Ergonomics; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Workers; Electrical-systems; Injuries; Hazards; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-safety-programs; Construction-materials; Construction-equipment
Contact
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4676 Columbia Parkway, MS C-24, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA
CODEN
AERGBW
Publication Date
20050701
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
jalbers@cdc.gov
Funding Type
Construction
Fiscal Year
2005
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
4
ISSN
0003-6870
NIOSH Division
DART
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Low Back Disorders
Source Name
Applied Ergonomics
State
OH
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