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wholesale and retail trade

Activities: NIOSH Funded Research Grants

NIOSH sponsors research and training through its extramural programs, which complement the Institute's intramural programs. More information is available from the NIOSH Office of Extramural Programs . The following list of NIOSH grants addresses some of the important occupational health issues relevant to the NIOSH Wholesale and Retail Trade sector. Because the trade sector represents a relatively new focus for NIOSH research and funding, the grants that are listed do not directly focus on safety and health issues in the trade sector, nor do they directly reference wholesale and retail trade issues. The grants selected for listing here, however, provide examples of research projects on the topic of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which is the primary type of injury in the trade sector. The NIOSH project grants could easily be tailored to include populations of workers and worksites in the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector and provide data and methods that would be of value in developing future requests for NIOSH funding through the grant mechanism.

Collaborative Study of Workplace MSDs

This is a 3-year prospective study of 800 workers across a variety of industries, occupations, and locations to determine the dose-response relationships between exposure to biomechanical factors and the development of hand, wrist, and elbow MSDs, such as epicondylitis, wrist tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. The data will be evaluated for dose-response and threshold relationships. Participating workers will be notified of physical exam findings and employers and workers will be notified of the final study findings. Study methods, instruments, and data format will be coordinated with the NIOSH Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders Consortium.

Project Contact: David Rempel
University Of California San Francisco

Prospective Study of Upper Extremity MSDs

The goal of this study is to follow a prospective cohort of 1,000 workers in two industries to evaluate the relationship between work-related risk factors and the development of nontraumatic soft tissue MSDs of the upper extremities. Musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses account for a tremendous amount of lost workdays and cost to industry in the United States. In this study, two hypotheses were tested: The presence of the workload factors of hand force, awkward postures of the neck, shoulder, forearm, hands and wrists, and the repetitiveness of the work performed will cause an increase in the incidence of upper extremity MSDs while controlling for individual and psychological factors. The interaction between the workload factors of hand force, awkward postures of the neck, shoulder, forearm, hands and wrists, and repetitiveness of the work performed will increase the risk of developing an upper extremity MSD. This research was conducted in one manufacturing industry and one service industry, with multiple sites of each possible. Surveillance information using workers was used to identify manufacturing and service sector industries with high incidence of WMSD claims.

Project Contact: Barbara Silverstein
Washington State Dept Lab & Indust
of Labor And Industries Olympia, WA

Low Back Pain Quantifying Risk Factors

This multi-center prospective cohort study was conducted to (1) determine baseline prevalence rates and subsequent incidence rates over a 2-year period for low back pain (LBP), LBP with neurological signs (sciatica), LBP-related impairments, lost time and modified duty-related LBP (2) quantify job and individual risk factors (e.g., weights, frequency, horizontal and vertical locations, low back moments, etc.), (3) validate existing job analysis methods (especially Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation, Maximum Acceptable Weights and forces, 3-D Static Strength Biomechanical Model, the proposed TLV for Lifting, and the Washington State Checklist, and (4) develop a final model for determining MSD risks. A cohort of 678 workers (study drop-outs replaced) from 10 different industries with a total worker population of over 10,000 in three diverse states participate in the study to ensure generalizability of the study results. Multivariate logistic regression models and survival analyses was used to explore relationships between job physical risk factors and LBP, sciatica, LBP impairments, and LBP severity measures. Additionally, quantifying ergonomic risk factors, interactions between various jobs, psychosocial and individual risk factors will be explored. This project is expected to improve the existing ergonomic job evaluation models for a broad range of industries.

Project Contact: Arun Garg
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee