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Design and conduct of occupational injury intervention studies: a review of evaluation strategies.
Zwerling C; Daltroy LH; Fine LJ; Johnston JJ; Melius J; Silverstein BA
Am J Ind Med 1997 Aug; 32(2):164-179
Literature regarding the design, conduct, and evaluation of occupational injury intervention was reviewed. Database searches identified 38 reports and eight reviews that targeted occupational injury interventions. Engineering interventions focused on hazards associated with traumatic injury and musculoskeletal disorders and included adjustable work stations, tool redesign, and back belts. Administrative interventions consisted of organizational strategies, such as improved housekeeping practices and participative management. Personal interventions included the use of safety glasses, back belts, and training studies. Multiple interventions combined engineering, administrative, or personal interventions in multifactorial studies, such as reducing musculoskeletal load in cashiers by changing work organization and work stations. An alternative to randomized controlled studies was quasi experimental intervention studies in which a comparison group provides an estimate of what the injury rate would be without the intervention. Study design and specification of an outcome were the two most important factors in evaluating occupational injury intervention. Intermediate outcomes, defined as measurable events that occur during the causal pathway, from the intervention to the injury outcome, can be used in the evaluation of injury prevention interventions, such as implementation of safety training. Measuring a reduction in injuries was the most convincing demonstration of an intervention's effectiveness. The authors conclude that a number of strategies can improve the quality of intervention evaluations, including focus groups, researchers participating with workers, using more qualitative variables in studies, and measuring more intermediate outcomes instead of actual injuries which are rarer.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Humans; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Preventive-medicine; Occupational-hazards; Safety-engineering; Traumatic-injuries; Author Keywords: injury; intervention; evaluation; occupational; methodology
Craig Zwerling, MD Prev Med & Environmental Hlth University of Iowa 100 Oakdale Campus, 124 Amrf Iowa City, IA 52242-5000
Cooperative Agreement; Construction; Grant
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
DC; IA; MA; OH; NY; WA; WV
Center to Protect Workers' Rights
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division