Friday Five – 3/10/17

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.

The news media this morning had several stories noting that beginning in July medical residents may work consecutively from 16 hours to 24 hours.  Interestingly, there were many medical residents that were in favor of this change.   Taking this change to resident’s shifts and the upcoming changing of the clocks for Daylight Saving Time, this Friday Five is focused on shift work.

Some residents looked forward to the increased hours as a way of reducing mid-case handoff of ER cases due to hitting the 16 hour mark.  A research letter by Charlie Wray, DO et al. in JAMA looked at handoff policies for residents at hospitals as implemenation of these practices, despite guidelines, is left to each hospital to implement.

A study published last year investigated the effect of hours per week worked by an admitting resident on patient outcomes.  It found that individuals admitted by residents working 80+ hours per week had longer hospital stays and more ICU transfers than those admitted by residents working less than 80 hours per week.  However, there did not appear to be a relationship between hours worked and 30 day readmission rates or in-hospital mortality rates.

Fernando and Roswell looked at the work performed during nursing shifts and noted that the types of work and volume of work performed varied through a 24 hour work cycle.  They note that the scheduling of shifts needs to take type of work and work volume into account.

Two older studies looked at the incidence of work related injuries following onset of Daylight Saving Time.  A study of American mine workers found an increase in injuries on the Monday following the start of DST and a decrease in total sleep for that night by 40 minutes.  A Canadian study found no statistical relationship between injuries and the onset of DST.

Interestingly,  researchers found that the rate of ischemic strokes increases during the first two days after the onset of daylight saving time.

 

Friday Five – 1/27/17

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.

This article by NHL defenseman Bryce Salvador discusses the changes in both behaviors and attitudes that he had to make following a concussion after being hit in the head with a puck at 90 miles per hour.

Steven Dubner of Freakonomics and Freakonomics radio did a two episode series on the economics of sleep.  It covers a lot of interesting areas that are impacted by the amount and quality of sleep.  While it’s broad in scope, it isn’t a deep dive into all of  the areas.  There’s some brief discussion of safety and productivity/efficiency.  Episode 1 provides an introduction to the issues of sleep and overall economics and Episode 2 looks a little bit more into timing of sleep and quality with a quick discussion with Heather Schofield who is doing some interesting research into the affect of sleep on data entry jobs.

Sometimes job training needs to start before you get the job.  The Kessler Foundation has awarded a grant to the University of Michigan to look at virtual reality based training modules to help youth with disabilities become more confident with their actions when interviewing for a job.  (As a quick disclosure, I used to work for the Kessler Foundation within their research division a long time ago).

Researchers in Canada are beginning to dig deeper into a fairly large set of data on construction workers to determine the differences between injury rates between unionized and non-unionized construction workers.

Besides the science that goes into the ballistic properties of bullet proof vests, there is a lot of ergonomics that goes into determining which vests work better at allowing personnel to be able to accurately and effectively perform job tasks.  Issues looked at include heat generation/dissipation, performance in obstacle courses, and more. Employees and end users should look to make sure that the issued vests are able to suitably perform all aspects of the job.