The Friday Five is a set of five links that I have come across this week that pertain to ergonomics, occupational health, safety, human performance, or human factors. For whatever reason, I found them interesting, but they are provided with minimal or no commentary and are not meant to be endorsement for a given product or research paper.
Diane Gyi et al. have created a new anthropometry data set for plus sized workers. With increasing obesity levels, this new dataset is very important as many of the original data sets that were utilized were based on measurements of military personnel. A course from The Back School on ergonomics for plus sized workers was a good reminder for me that this category requires some different ergonomic considerations because there are some different biomechanical needs when setting up or correcting workstations. It was also a good reminder that this category is not necessarily about obesity – the plus sized worker category includes anyone that is outside of the normative data sets, regardless of the reason why they fall outside of the normative data. (When I originally took the course, it reminded me of The Incredibles when Bob tries to become a non-super hero, stuffing himself into the small car or into his cubicle at work).
Dominique Larouche et al. look at the issue of safe handling techniques for paramedics when transferring patients from stair chairs to stretchers. One of the interesting points is that they believe that training needs to be oriented more towards the ability to adapt work techniques based on the environment and on the work teammates.
Joshua Zheng Rui Ting et al. investigated the effect of an ergonomics/exercise intervention compared to an ergonomics/health promotion intervention on workability levels in the office worker population. For the general population, there was no significant difference in results. But for a subgroup of office workers who reported neck pain (greater than 3/10 at start of study), the ergonomics and exercise intervention group demonstrated trending improvements in workability when compared to the ergonomics/health promotion group, if they completed at least 70% of the exercise sessions.
Peter Love et al. dealt with the difficulties in establishing operational guidelines for construction safety when the information on injuries is not readily available to use to set best practice guidelines.
Kaitlin Gallagher et al. noted that walking breaks can help to reduce low back pain that is induced by prolonged standing. Walking and moving is something that I have been an advocate of for a long time. Walking is not only great to break up prolonged postures (sitting or standing) but the overall movement is helpful for preventing other health issues as well.