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Hand wrist cumulative trauma disorders in industry.

Silverstein BA; Fine LJ; Armstrong TJ
Br J Ind Med 1986 Nov; 43(11):779-784
A survey of occupational hand wrist cumulative trauma disorders was conducted. A total of 574 active workers from six industrial facilities were categorized into four exposure groups: low force/low repetitive (LOF/LOR), high force/low repetitive (HIF/LOR), low force/high repetitive (LOF/HIR), or high force/high repetitive (HIF/FIR) jobs. HIR jobs were defined as those with a cycle time of less than 30 seconds or more than 50 percent of the cycle time involved performing the same type of fundamental cycles. LOR jobs included those with a cycle time longer than 30 seconds and less than 50 percent of the cycle time involved performing the same type of fundamental cycles. HIF jobs were those with estimated hand force requirements of more than 4 kilograms (kg). LOF jobs were those with estimated average hand force requirements below 1kg. Videotapes and surface electromyography were used to estimate hand force and job repetitiveness. Workers in the LOF/LOR jobs served as comparisons. The six facilities participating in the study included electronics assembly, major appliance manufacturing, investment casting of turbine engine blades, apparel sewing, a ductile iron foundry, and ball bearing manufacturing. Workers were interviewed and given physical examinations. Calculated adjusted odds ratios indicated an increased risk for hand wrist cumulative trauma disorders in all exposure groups relative to the LOF/LOR group; however, this increase was statistically significant only for workers in the HIF/HIR group. Increased risk of hand wrist injury in HIF/HOR workers was independent of age, sex, years on the job, and facility. The authors conclude that these findings may help in directing workplace intervention because they suggest a strategy for primary prevention. Reducing force or repetitiveness through job modification may reduce the prevalence of hand wrist cumulative trauma disorders.
NIOSH-Author; Epidemiology; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Repetitive-work; Injuries; Muscle-stress; Physiological-stress; Data-processing; Employee-health; Cumulative-trauma-disorders
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British Journal of Industrial Medicine
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The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division