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Initiating an ergonomic analysis. A process for jobs with highly variable tasks.

Authors
Conrad-KM; Lavender-SA; Reichelt-PA; Meyer-FT
Source
AAOHN J 2000 Sep; 48(9):423-429
NIOSHTIC No.
20029815
Abstract
Occupational health nurses play a vital role in addressing ergonomic problems in the workplace. Describing and documenting exposure to ergonomic risk factors is a relatively straightforward process in jobs in which the work is repetitive. In other types of work, the analysis becomes much more challenging because tasks may be repeated infrequently, or at irregular time intervals, or under different environmental and temporal conditions, thereby making it difficult to observe a "representative" sample of the work performed. This article describes a process used to identify highly variable job tasks for ergonomic analyses. The identification of tasks for ergonomic analysis was a two step process involving interviews and a survey of firefighters and paramedics from a consortium of 14 suburban fire departments. The interviews were used to generate a list of frequently performed, physically strenuous job tasks and to capture clear descriptions of those tasks and associated roles. The goals of the survey were to confirm the interview findings across the entire target population and to quantify the frequency and degree of strenuousness of each task. In turn, the quantitative results from the survey were used to prioritize job tasks for simulation. Although this process was used to study firefighters and paramedics, the approach is likely to be suitable for many other types of occupations in which the tasks are highly variable in content and irregular in frequency.
Keywords
Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Firemen; Back-injuries; Accident-prevention; Risk-factors; Epidemiology; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Physical-stress
Contact
Department of Public Health, Mental Health, and Administrative Nursing, Occupational Health Nursing Program, University of Illinois at Chicago
CODEN
AAJOEP
Publication Date
20000901
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
80216
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2000
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R03-OH-03123
Issue of Publication
9
ISSN
0891-0162
Priority Area
Musculoskeletal-system-disorders
Source Name
AAOHN Journal - American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Journal
State
IL
Performing Organization
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
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