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MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS

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Activities: NIOSH Research Projects

NIOSH sponsors research and training through its intramural programs. The following list includes MSD-related intramural projects that were active in 2005.

Active MSD-Related Projects in 2006

Surveillance and Epidemiology
Manual Lifting and Low Back Pain

The goal of this research study is to provide additional epidemiologic data to better define the relationship between the physical demands of manual lifting as described by the lifting index (LI) obtained from the NIOSH lifting equations and the incidence and severity of lifting-related low back disorders. It will also provide information regarding the utility of the NIOSH lifting equation as a practical, yet valid, tool for identifying and prioritizing jobs for interventions.

Contact: Thomas Waters
Division of Applied Research Technology
(513) 533-8147
Project period: 10/1/2001-9/30/2006

Safety and Health Issues Affecting Older Workers

Despite a U.S. workforce that is becoming increasingly older, little is known about the occupational characteristics of older workers and the specific health problems they may encounter. This project examines safety and health risks that affect older workers through (1) analysis of data in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a longitudinal database that contains information about health and occupation for a nationally representative sample of older adults, and (2) collaboration with the nonprofit organization Experience Works in a study of safety and health issues affecting older workers. Knowledge gained from this project will provide an in-depth understanding of safety and health issues affecting older workers, and help in developing targeted interventions to improve working conditions for older workers

Contact: James Grosch
Division of Applied Research Technology
(513) 533-8167
Project period: 10/1/2003-9/30/2006

Work Organization Influence on Fatigue in Truck Drivers

The purpose of this project is to examine the influence of organizational and industry factors, such as scheduling practices, economic pressure, competition and types of freight, on fatigue and safety in commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators. A cross-sectional survey of currently employed commercial truck drivers will be conducted to obtain both independent and dependent variable data. Descriptive statistics and regression modeling will be used to characterize the relationship among factors, and results will be disseminated to the trucking industry and interested academic sectors. The results will include recommendations that can be used by firms to improve driver safety and health and decrease crash risk.

Contact: Edward Hitchcock
Division of Applied Research Technology
(513) 533-8169
Project period: 3/1/2004-9/30/2008

Forklift Operators MSD

The purpose of this study is to determine to what extent forklift operators are at increased risk of back and neck pain due to driving forklift vehicles backward for extended periods of time during the work shift. A cross-sectional epidemiological study design will be used to compare neck and back disorder rates for forklift operators with those of a non-exposed control group of production workers. The magnitude and duration of back and neck twisting will be measured and back and neck disorder rates will be determined through a questionnaire. Findings from this study will provide the impetus for forklift manufacturers to develop improved forklift cab designs that allow the operator to drive the forklift without excessive trunk and neck twisting. The findings will also provide justification for companies to purchase ergonomically designed forklift trucks, as well as provide incentives for forklift operators to request and use improved design forklift trucks.

Contact: Thomas Waters
Division of Applied Research Technology
(513) 533-8147
Project period: 10/1/2005-9/30/2006

Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Among Federal Workers

This project will examine the potential of Federal workers' compensation data to describe injuries and illnesses among federal workers and guide subsequent prevention efforts. Department of Labor agencies with key roles in the Safety, Health and Return-to-Employment (SHARE) Initiative, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), will be provided with technical guidance on improving future collection of these data and using them for prevention efforts. Should initial assessments and analyses prove promising, NIOSH will collaborate with OSHA on additional analyses and data dissemination. It is expected that this work will contribute to injury and illness reductions among Federal workers.

Contact: Audrey Reichard
Division of Safety Research
(304) 285-6091
Project period: 3/1/2005-9/30/2007

Communicating Through Construction Trade/Labor Associations

To gain a better understanding of the unmet occupational safety and health information needs in construction subsectors and develop information and communication products to address these needs, NIOSH will survey the major construction trade associations and labor unions to determine their occupational safety and health needs and gaps in information related to the prevention of construction site injuries and illnesses. During the first year of this pilot effort, the survey instrument and sampling strategy will be developed and the Human Subjects Review Board (HSRB) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance packages prepared and submitted. Contractors knowledgeable in survey research and the construction industry will be retained to work with NIOSH staff to perform the pilot year activities. During the second year of this pilot effort, the selected trade associations and labor unions will be surveyed using Dillman’s method for mail surveys and the data analysis will be conducted.

Contact: Vernon Anderson
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8319
Project period: 7/1/2004-9/30/2007

Evaluation of an Occupational Safety and Health Program for Cosmetology

This pilot project will first collect baseline information from small business owners engaged in hair and nail services regarding occupational safety and health hazards and current efforts to abate those hazards. Targeted communication materials will then be developed and provided to a sample of owners in order to motivate them to improve safety and health in their workplaces. The transtheoretical model of Prochaska and DiClemente will be applied. Cosmetology, which includes nail and hair salons, exposes workers to hazardous chemicals, such as hair dye, bleaches and methyl methacrylate, MSDs, and biologic hazards associated with cutting cuticles or giving a pedicure. Health risks to those workers include dermatitis, neurologic impairment, infection, and ergonomic injuries. The project will use telephone questionnaires and site visits to assess change.

Contact: Robert Malkin
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8375
Project period: 10/1/2005-9/30/2008

Etiological Research
Upper Limb Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders

The purpose of the project is to quantify exposure-response relationships between physical job stressors and the prevalence and incidence of upper limb MSDs, and to develop and test practical exposure methods. The anticipated impact of this project is that policymakers will be able to make informed decisions regarding guidelines for preventing upper limb MSDs, and practitioners in occupational health fields will be able to use improved exposure assessment methods to easily and accurately determine whether job tasks represent low, moderate, or high risk for upper limb MSDs. It is anticipated that the end result will be more effective job design changes or interventions in existing jobs to prevent these disorders.

Contact: Susan Burt
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluation, and Field Studies
((513) 841-4594
Project period: 10/1/2000-9/30/2006

Evaluation of Physical Demands of Lifting and Back Disorders

The purpose of this project is to describe exposure-response relationships between physical job stressors and low back disorders and to develop and test practical risk assessment models for predicting various risk levels. Practitioners in occupational health fields will be able to use these models to discriminate job tasks that represent low, moderate and high levels of risk for low back disorders and to develop effective job design changes or interventions.

Contact: Laurie Piacitelli
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluation, and Field Studies
(513) 841-4567
Project period: 10/1/2000-9/30/2006

Musculoskeletal Disorders and Innate Immune System

Work-related MSDs, a NORA priority area, represent a variety of disorders including traumatic injuries, lower back pain, hand-arm vibration syndrome, carpel tunnel syndrome, and associated with chronic or acute inflammatory responses involved in both tissue degeneration and regeneration. Farm and construction workers are exposed to physical hazards leading to increased risk of MSDs. Identifying specific molecular steps involved in the regulation of tissue injury and repair will provide a basis for successful diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of musculoskeletal diseases. We will develop a comprehensive gene time-series database of skeletal muscle traumatic injuries using DNA array analysis. Understanding mechanisms of skeletal muscle injury and recovery at a molecular level may aid in identification, treatment and prediction of occupational diseases resulting in substantial cost savings and improved health for thousands of workers.

Contact: Petia Simeonova
Health Effects Laboratory Division
(304) 285-6156
Project period: 10/1/2003-9/30/2006

Animal Models of Hand-Arm Vibration

Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is an occupational disorder affecting workers who use vibrating tools. HAVS is characterized by vasospasms in the fingers and hands, loss of tactile and thermal sensation in the digits, and, in severe cases, gangrene. Further research is needed to determine the exposure limits and the role that various risk factors play in the development of vasculature and nervous system damage. The purpose of these studies is to develop different models for studying the factors associated with the development of HAVS and to understand the underlying cellular mechanisms responsible for this disorder. These studies will provide data that can be used to develop exposure guidelines for the workplace and identify effective prevention strategies and treatment interventions for HAVS.

Contact: Kristine Krajnak
Health Effects Laboratory Division
(304) 285-5964
Project period: 10/1/2004-9/30/2009

Mechanisms of Repetitive Strain Injury in an Aging Model

This multiyear program will investigate the underlying pathogenic, biomechanical, and physiological processes associated with MSDs and age. Performance measures will be correlated with histological and biochemical analyses. These findings will help elucidate the adaptive and pathological mechanisms of repetitive motion injuries and will support the development of specific guidelines for repetitive movements in the workplace.

Contact: Robert Cutlip
Health Effects Laboratory Division
(304) 285-5968
Project period: 10/1/2004-9/30/2008

Exposure Assessment
Program for MSD Prevention

The purpose of the project is to describe exposure-response relationships between physical job stressors and MSDs, and to further develop practical exposure assessment methods, including the NIOSH LI. There is evidence that job physical stressors can cause MSDs, but how many MSDs result from different levels of exposure is unknown. The LI and methods to evaluate upper limb exposures will be evaluated and further developed. The anticipated impact of this project is that practitioners in occupational health fields will be able to use this new knowledge and improved methods to more easily and accurately determine whether job tasks represent low, moderate, or high risk for upper limb and low back MSDs, resulting in more effective job design changes or interventions in existing jobs to prevent these disorders.

Contact: Susan Burt
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluation, and Field Studies
(513) 841-4594
Project period: 10/1/2000-9/30/2006

Exposure Assessment Methods for Upper Extremity MSD Risk Factors

The purpose of this project is to quantify the accuracy of ergonomists in estimating levels of work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) risk factors by observation and, using this knowledge, to develop recommendations for improving observational-based exposure assessment methods. A critical component of this project is the development of a portable, integrated computer data acquisition system for field measurement of physical risk factors for upper limb WMSDs such as posture, kinematics, and force. Measurements obtained with this sytem will serve as the gold standards for evaluating the validity of observational-based analyses of risk factors for the industrial jobs. Video recordings of industrial work activities will be presented to ergonomists, from which observational estimates of physical risk factor variables will be obtained. The accuracy of the ergonomists' exposure estimates will then be calculated by comparing their observational estimates to the measures derived from the instrumentation-based system. The results of this research will lead to improved recommendations on the most accurate method for obtaining observational data to quantify physical work stresses.

Contact: Brian Lowe
Division of Applied Research Technology
(513) 533-8161
Project period: 10/1/2003-9/30/2006

Validation of Ergonomic Design Criteria for Hand Tools

The purpose of this project will be to investigate the effects of handle design characteristics on the physical stresses associated with hand tool use and to validate a method to enable construction workers and tradespersons to assess the ergonomic quality of a hand tool design. The results of these studies will be applied to refine guidelines that have been recognized and incorporated in the hand tool evaluation and selection checklist developed by this project team. The dissemination of these guidelines throughout the work force is expected to reduce the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders precipitated by the use of poorly designed hand tools, with particular emphasis on tools used in construction trades.

Contact: Brian Lowe
Division of Applied Research Technology
(513) 533-8161
Project period: 10/1/2004-9/30/2008

Automated Biomechanical and Cardiorespiratory Assessment Suite (ABACAS)

The project will develop initial versions of integrated, wearable instrumentation with the capability to perform objective exposure assessments of both the biomechanical demands and physiological costs associated with the performance of work. As the various iterations of the product are developed, they will be evaluated during studies of simulated work activities to determine relationships among biomechanical and physiological measures and task parameters in support of the development of validated, predictive models of workload assessment. Envisioned patented research products will provide both research and applied occupational health practitioners with enhanced, objective means of characterizing the work environment, and they will support the CDC's worker health initiative by providing an improved capability to perform laboratory physical rehabilitation evaluations and to assess conformance with prescriptions for at-home exercises for afflicted workers.

Contact: Dan Sharp
Health Effects Laboratory Division
(304) 285-6260
Project period: 10/1/2002-9/30/2006

Biodynamics of Hand-Arm System and Assessments of Hand-Transmitted Vibration (HTV)

U.S. workers, in fields such as foundry, construction, and mining, are occupationally exposed to HTV. This program will provide a more comprehensive understanding of HTV exposure and the hand-arm vibration syndrome. It will lead to the creation of new theories of vibration exposure and vibration transmission mechanisms, evaluate exposure-effects relationships, and establish more effective methodologies for assessing exposure and evaluating approaches to vibration mitigation. It will also develop better methodologies and new devices for the detection of acute health effects and for the measurement of hand force and vibration power in future field and laboratory studies. The research products that derive from this research program will serve as the basis for future recommendations, criteria, guidelines, and standards pertaining to HTV exposures and their consequences.

Contact: Renguang Dong
Health Effects Laboratory Division
(304) 285-6332
Project period: 10/1/2002-9/30/2006

Intervention Effectiveness
Work Schedule Designs to Reduce Job Stress

The purpose of Work Schedule Designs to Reduce Job Strain, a continuing project, is to evaluate the effectiveness of changed work schedules to reduce safety and health risks associated with job stress, high workloads, or excessive fatigue. Safety and health compromises are associated with demanding work schedules. The present project is evaluating pre- and post-work schedule designs to determine the most successful intervention factors for reducing risks of injuries and illnesses. Targeted analysis outcomes include safety and health indices (e.g., work absences, visits to health clinics, injury and incident rates, and changes in somatic complaints) and behavioral/psychological indices (e.g., changes in perceived stress, fatigue, recovery, and satisfaction with domestic and other social relations). Resulting work schedule design recommendations will help to reduce the associated safety and health risks.

Contact: Claire Caruso
Division of Applied Research Technology
(513) 533-8535
Project period: 1/1/1997-9/30/2006

Control Technology Assistance for the Construction Industry

The purpose of the project is to identify and evaluate currently available intervention used to reduce exposures to MSD risk factors. Additional evaluation criteria include the adoption and diffusion of the intervention and effects on productivity and safety. The project has developed partnerships with industry stakeholders, including contractors, labor organizations, trade associations; tool, equipment and material manufacturers; and academic research institutions. Studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions for activities known to expose workers to WMSD risk factors, such as forceful and repetitive hand use, sustained work at floor and ceiling heights, and lifting and carrying heavy objects. Results of the project will be disseminated among construction stakeholders and in the scientific community through presentations and publications.

Contact: James Albers
Division of Applied Research Technology
(513) 533-8168
Project period: 4/1/2002-9/30/2006

Ergonomic Interventions for Youth Working in Agriculture

The purpose of this project is to develop and evaluate ergonomic interventions specifically targeted to youth and adolescents who work in physically demanding jobs in agriculture. Anticipated ergonomic interventions will be similar to those successfully used in other industries. The specific aims of the project are to (1) identify or develop three interventions in the first 2 years, (2) comprehensively evaluate the effectiveness of those interventions to reduce exposure to physical risk factors associated with development of MSDs, and, (3) to empirically evaluate the accuracy of the North American Guidelines for Children's Agricultural Tasks for appropriately assigning children to physically demanding agricultural work tasks. Findings will be published in scientific journals and presented at scientific meetings.

Contact: Thomas Waters
Division of Applied Research Technology
(513) 533-8147
Project period: 10/1/2003-9/30/2006

Long Term Study of Ergonomic Mouse Effectiveness

This project is the first comprehensive, long-term assessment of the efficacy of ergonomic mouse input devices in preventing or alleviating MSDs among computer users. Several ergonomic mouse designs will be assessed over a one-year period among insurance company workers. Measures include medical assessment of symptomatology, workstation assessments, psychosocial factors, and a range of physical and physiological indicators (e.g., postural analyses, electromyography [EMG], etc.). The projected outcome is recommendations regarding effective mouse designs.

Contact: Naomi Swanson
Division of Applied Research Technology
(513) 533-8165
Project period: 10/1/2003-9/30/2007

Health Effects Associated with Occupational Cycling

Health Effects Associated with Occupational Cycling, including male and female police officers is an ongoing project, initiated in response to health concerns over the relationship between bicycling and sexual dysfunction. Phase one evaluated tissue pressure on the load bearing regions of the urogenital triangle, feet, and hands and modeled biomechanical bodily stresses as a function of seat design and bicycle fit. Saddles without a protruding nose are being evaluated as an intervention to alleviate perineal parathesia and sexual dysfunction. In phase two, on-road cycling pressure on the urogenital triangle, hands, and feet will be measured with a data logger to verify the laboratory results of phase one. This project will inform bicycling police officers of the health risks from traditional bicycle saddles and provide a practical alternative.

Contact: Steven Schrader
Division of Applied Research Technology
(513) 533-8210
Project period: 10/1/2003-9/30/2007

Evaluating Toolbox Training in Construction and Mining

The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of two different types of toolbox talks. Toolbox safety talks are brief 10- to 15-minute weekly worksite talks commonly used in construction and mining, but they have not been adequately investigated as to their effectiveness. One version being tested uses a narrative approach that contains case studies (stories) of actual fatalities and injuries, and the other version being tested uses a traditional instructional approach (no case studies). The hypothesis is that training that includes case studies will result in greater worker knowledge gains and enhanced worker safety attitudes than talks using a traditional approach.

Contact: Terri Heidotting
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8325
Project period: 10/1/1999-9/30/2006

Effectiveness of Training and Controls in Nursing Homes

The purpose of this project is to evaluate engineering controls, training and information dissemination programs for injury prevention in a sample of nursing homes in the State of Ohio. Injury experience will be derived from Workers Compensation (W.C.) claims. The Bureau of Workers Compensation in Ohio makes available intervention programs for targeted industries, including nursing homes, but lacks resources to evaluate their effectiveness. W.C., OSHA-related and other interventions that employers have implemented will be classified and described, as will their W.C. claim rates and costs over time. The purpose will be to estimate what effects various intervention programs have had on reducing workers compensation claims and costs.

Contact: Robert Park
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8572
Project period: 5/1/2002-9/30/2006

Reduce Injury and MSD Risk from Human-Machine Interaction

This research will evaluate machine designs and examine machine operator tasks in order to reduce mine injuries, WMSDs, and workplace accidents. Researchers will carry out four activities: roof bolter appendage speed study, roof bolter operator low back stress analysis, machine tramming study, and jarring/jolting study of LHD/scoops and personnel carrier seats. All activities will assess and reduce the presence of underground mine work hazards and WMSDs to which the work environment, equipment, and performance of work contribute significantly. Mine work hazards and WMSDs arise from improperly designed workstations, equipment, or work methods. Mine work hazards include machine and human-body appendage collisions and operator errors. WMSDs include awkward postures, repetitive and forceful motions, and excessive jarring and jolting.

Contact: Dean Ambrose
Pittsburgh Research Laboratory
(412) 386-6650
Project period: 10/1/2002-9/30/2006

Ergonomics Process Effectiveness in Mining

The purpose of this research is to demonstrate that an ergonomics process can effectively lower worker exposure to MSD risk factors and reduce MSD incident rates in mining environments. Researchers will work with mining companies to implement and evaluate ergonomics processes, as well as specific task-related interventions. A key element to this study will be to create a metric to assess the developmental stage of a process and its effectiveness. Demonstration of effective ways to apply ergonomics principles to mining work activities will promote their use by the mining community.

Contact: Janet Torma-Krajewski
Pittsburgh Research Laboratory
(303) 42302069
Project period: 10/1/2003-9/30/2007

Successful Aging for Miners through Ergonomics

A multi-year plan has been initiated to explore the effects of aging on the mining population and to investigate the changes to work procedures, equipment design, and training methods that would help to reduce/eliminate these effects and the risk of injury. It is important that the workforce and mine management understand normative aging changes, physical requirements of jobs, and ergonomic principles, so they can better design jobs and implement proper return to work procedures. This research should also help other dynamic work environments, such as agriculture and construction. The outcomes of this project include design recommendations and ergonomics interventions for an aging workforce as well as age awareness training for the entire mining community.

Contact: Diana Schwerha
Pittsburgh Research Laboratory
(412) 386-5206
Project period: 10/1/2003-9/30/2006

Ergonomics Evaluation and Improvement of Mobile Equipment

The purpose of this project is to reduce musculoskeletal disorders among operators of mobile equipment. This will be achieved by characterizing ergonomic risk factors among operators of mobile equipment in the mining industry and developing recommendations for improving equipment design and when appropriate controls will be evaluated in the field or laboratory settings. Many of the research findings can be translated to construction, agriculture and transportation industries.

Contact: N. Kumar Kittusamy
Spokane Research Laboratory
(509) 354-8070
Project period: 10/1/2003-9/30/2008

Education and Information Dissemination
NIOSH Lifting Equation: Evaluation of CD-ROM Training

The NIOSH lifting equations (LE), developed and refined after many years of research, can make a significant impact on occupational safety and health by contributing to lowered incidence of low back disorders. To achieve these results, however, (1) the LE must be made widely available to safety and health professionals in a format that is easy to use and (2) training and guidance must be provided to these professionals to assure accurate measurement of the lifting variables required by the LE. This project is meeting these needs by developing and evaluating the effectiveness of an electronic instructional program on the proper use of the NIOSH LE. Increased ease-of-use is needed if the NIOSH LE is to be used widely and influence job-redesign to reduce occupational back injuries. During FY2002 and FY2003, the electronic product was developed. During FY2004, testing of the product will continue with redesign occurring as needed, followed by dissemination in FY2005. In FY2005 and FY2006 evaluations will be completed and published.

Contact: William Bowles
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8368
Project period: 10/1/1999-9/30/2006

Small Business Interventions

The goal of this project is to determine whether receipt of a NIOSH informational manual results in the progression of the stage of change of the recipient, as described in the transtheoretical model (TTM) of Prochaska and DiClemente [1984]. We will mail a NIOSH informational document composed of a specially tailored manual and a flip-chart of posters to a random sample of 90 pallet manufacturers and use questionnaires administered over the telephone to

  • Determine the baseline and follow-up stage of the owner/manager regarding occupational safety and health actions using the TTM.
  • Compare the degree of progression through the stages of change associated with the receipt of NIOSH informational materials as compared to a control group.
  • Assess the applicability of the TTM in occupational safety and health studies.

Contact: Robert Malkin
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8375
Project period: 3/1/2001-9/30/2007

Impact Evaluation of NIOSH-Numbered Publications

In collaboration with four professional associations, NIOSH (2003) surveyed members of those associations to evaluate the value and utility of NIOSH numbered publications and information services. In FY2005, a report was completed and distributed to the Lead Team and to the leadership of the participating associations. Information from the report is also being used to respond to the OMB PART evaluation. The findings from the survey provide NIOSH with valuable information to enhance our understanding of NIOSH customers and improve NIOSH communication and dissemination efforts.

Contact: Vernon Anderson
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8319
Project period: 10/1/2001-9/30/2008

Hazards in Healthcare

This project will develop a series of educational and technical documents critically assessing available data on occupational safety and health hazards to health care workers in hospitals, homes, and other settings. The series, currently under development, will address subjects such as violence, ergonomic stressors, glutaraldehyde, waste anesthetic gases, nitrous oxide, stress, antineoplastic agents, ethylene oxide, latex allergy, needlesticks, and tuberculosis. Preventive strategies will also be discussed. This information is intended for use by safety and health professionals, workers, and employers. Educational brochures will be prepared on each topic. Additionally, this project focuses on several priorities under the NORA—disease/injury (allergic and irritant dermatitis, asthma, MSDs, and work organization). This r2p project will produce communication products supporting the NIOSH mission to assure a safe and healthful workplace.

Contact: Christy Forrester
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8526
Project period: 10/1/2001-10/30/2009

Evaluating Training Interventions for Small Business

The purpose of this study is to examine whether small business owners that receive occupational safety and health training materials specially designed for small business and developed in partnership with NIOSH make improvements in the workplace safety training that they provide for their workers as compared with small business owners who do not receive these materials. Interviews will be conducted to determine what changes occur during the study period for both the treatment and control groups. Findings from this study will be used to determine what types of training materials influence small business owners to make changes that improve the company’s safety and health environment and use of safety and health training materials.

Contact: Terri Heidotting
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8325
Project period: 3/1/2002-9/30/2007

Evaluation of OSHA Restaurant E-Tool (Youth)

Educating adolescents on safety in the workplace is a challenging task. It requires a good understanding of how to design information that effectively addresses teenage perception of risk in the workplace. As more information about young worker safety becomes available on the web and is translated into web-based material, it is important to determine how best to present this material. This project addresses whether web graphics and navigation impact adolescent knowledge/attitudes on young worker safety. Furthermore, if an impact exists, which of these web features, graphics or navigation, has a greater influence? This project will answer these questions by observing actual teenagers as they work through the OSHA E-Tool on Restaurant Safety. Participants will be asked to perform a series of "real-world scenario" training tasks on the computer while talking aloud. In addition to recording participant audio and videos, observers will be collecting performance data, such as task completion times and click-through mapping. Users will also complete a knowledge and attitude pre- and post-test. Results will summarize participant verbal comments and correlate these comments to their test scores. Further recommendations will follow based upon these results.

Contact: Rohit Verma
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8251
Project period: 10/1/2005-9/30/2007

 

 
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  • Page last updated: December 18, 2012
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