Work environment risk factors for injuries in wood processing.
J Saf Res 2009 Aug; 40(4):247-255
PROBLEM: The reported injury rate for wood product manufacturing in Maine, 1987-2004, was almost twice the state-wide average for all jobs. METHOD: A case-control study was conducted in wood processing plants to determine preventable risk factors for injury. A total of 157 cases with injuries reported to workers' compensation and 251 controls were interviewed. RESULTS: In multivariable analyses, variables associated with injury risk were high physical workload, machine-paced work or inability to take a break, lack of training, absence of a lockout/tagout program, low seniority, and male gender. Different subsets of these variables were significant when acute incidents and overexertions were analyzed separately and when all injuries were stratified by industry sub-sector. IMPACT ON INDUSTRY: Generalizability may be limited somewhat by non-representative participation of workplaces and individuals. Nevertheless, these findings provide evidence that many workplace injuries occurring in wood processing could be prevented by application of ergonomics principles and improved work organization.
Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accident-statistics; Epidemiology; Ergonomics; Human-factors-engineering; Industrial-safety-programs; Injury-prevention; Lumber-industry; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Sawmill; Sawmill-workers; Traumatic-injuries; Woodworkers; Woodworking; Woodworking-industry; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-performance; Work-practices;
Author Keywords: Ergonomics; Physical effort; Psychosocial strain; Safety programs
Laura Punnett, Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, One University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854
Journal of Safety Research
University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts