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 week’s Five are new entries to PubMed under the search terms of: occupational safety.
Smith et al. look at physical activity assessment tools that are used in primary care. They found that the tools are not sufficient to give practitioners the information necessary to guide interventions. This is not surprising as most of the public does not have a solid concept of the level of physical activity that they perform across a given week.
Samelli et al. review the efficacy of using a tablet based hearing test. For areas where there is low access to audiologists for hearing tests, this may be of interest.
Spira-Cohen et al. spent several weeks recording sound level data in New York City restaurants, bars, lounges, and clubs as part of a pilot study to assess sound level exposure to employees and patrons. Of note, “In 49% (N=29) of the venues, the visit exceeded the maximum allowable daily noise dose based on National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) of 85 dBA 8-hr Time-Weighted Average (TWA)”
Hemmatjo et al. investigated the effect of different cooling strategies (cooling vest, cooling gel, cooling gel + vest) on firefighters when performing simulated firefighting tasks.
Kajiki et al. performed a randomized clinical trial of participating ergonomic intervention training that looked at low back training in a work environment. It isn’t often that companies are willing to place their employees in studies such as this. The authors include a good discussion about the results of their study and limitations within the study. They also acknowledge that the ergonomic intervention training has a half-life (my choice of terminology) – over time, the impact of training wears off and needs to be repeated on a regular basis. This is something that we have seen with clients that we provide material handling training services.