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An Introduction to the Principles of Occupational Ergonomics.

Frederick L; Habes D; Schloemer J
NIOSH 1987 Jul:116-120
Occupational ergonomics was discussed. Ergonomics is a discipline that recognizes the physiological, anatomical, and psychological capabilities and limitations of workers and attempts to match them to their job tasks, equipment they use, and the work environment. The nature of cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) of the upper limbs and muscle strain and fatigue was reviewed. CTDs arise from repetitive, forceful hand or wrist movements. Muscle strain and fatigue are associated with static muscular work. The role of the nurse in preventing ergonomic health problems was discussed. The nurse should evaluate the need for programs in health promotion, worker education, and worker job matching in order to identify ergonomic hazards. As part of the evaluation phase, an ongoing surveillance program that examines clusters of similar disorders or symptoms should be established in the workplace. Once the evaluation is completed, a plan of action can be formulated. Management cooperation and support is considered to be essential if the plan is to succeed. Performing a cost benefit analysis is recommended as a way of obtaining management cooperation. Any interventions or programs that have been established should be evaluated to determine their effectiveness. The authors conclude that the occupational health nurse, because of her health promotion background, is in a unique position to recognize, evaluate, and control ergonomic hazards.
Occupational-health; Biomechanics; Work-analysis; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Workplace-studies; Work-capacity; Physiological-stress; Occupational-health-nursing;
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Horvitz IA;
Fiscal Year
Priority Area
Low Back Disorders; Disease and Injury; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders;
Source Name
Proceedings of the National Occupational Health Nursing Symposium: State of the Art and Directions for the Future, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 1-3, 1983
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division