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Occupational health services in the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders: Processes, tools and organizational aspects
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are associated with high costs and it is essential to prevent them. Occupational Health Services(OHS) provide expert services regarding work environment, health and rehabilitation of work related disorders. Risk assessments of the work environment can be an initial step for preventive measures, and ergonomists can be assigned by clients to assess exposures in the work environment. For such assignments different tools can be used. The aim of this thesis was to explore prerequisites, processes and practices of OHS consultants in Sweden within the domain of primary prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. This was explored through the work of ergonomists in their role of assessing ergonomics risks. The research methodology was both quantitative and qualitative. Data collection includes a web questionnaire, semi-structured interviews and inter- and intra-observer reliability tests. The results shows that ergonomics risk assessments were most commonly initiated reactively and a systematic work methodology for the risk assessment process was often lacking. Swedish ergonomists used only a few standardized tools for risk assessment. The Ergonomics provision from the Swedish Work Environment Authority, AFS-98, was widely used, but other observation-based tools were used far less often. Ergonomics risks were often assessed solely by means of observation, based on ergonomists’ knowledge and experience. The results also pointed to that that the reliability was not acceptable when risk assessment was performed without any standardized tool. Furthermore, the results point to that support from the OHS organizations is an important prerequisite for ergonomists to work with primary prevention. Further, opportunities for specialization within a specific industry sector seem to facilitate ergonomic interventions. It is also important to have close relationships with clients and to make them aware about ergonomists competence. Conclusively, this thesis identifies a numbers of areas in which OHS must develop to improve primary preventive services regarding work environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. , p. 43
Series
TRITA-STH ; 2017:2
Keywords [en]
Risk assessment, Ergonomists, Observation-based tools, Inter-observer reliability, Intra-observer reliability
Keywords [sv]
Riskbedömning, Ergonomer, Observationsverktyg, Interbedömarreliabilitet, Intrabedömarreliabilitet
National Category
Other Health Sciences
Research subject
Technology and Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-200392ISBN: 978-91-7729-271-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-200392DiVA, id: diva2:1069024
Presentation
2017-02-17, 9504, Hälsovägen 11C, Huddinge, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20170127

Available from: 2017-01-27 Created: 2017-01-27 Last updated: 2017-02-01Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Ergonomics Risk Assessment: Tool Use and Processes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ergonomics Risk Assessment: Tool Use and Processes
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Other Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-200477 (URN)
Note

QC 20170127

Available from: 2017-01-27 Created: 2017-01-27 Last updated: 2017-01-27Bibliographically approved
2. Inter- and Intra-Observer Reliability of Risk Assessment of Repetitive Work without an Explicit Method
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inter- and Intra-Observer Reliability of Risk Assessment of Repetitive Work without an Explicit Method
(English)In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
National Category
Other Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-200476 (URN)
Note

QC 20170127

Available from: 2017-01-27 Created: 2017-01-27 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
3. Facilitators for the implementation of ergonomic interventions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Facilitators for the implementation of ergonomic interventions
2015 (English)In: The 47th International the Nordic Ergonomics Society Conference: Creating Sustainable work-environments / [ed] Fostervild, K.I., Johnsen, S.Å., Rydstedt, L., Watten, R.G., 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Ergonomic interventions have often been studied with focus on the client company in which the intervention has been implemented and not from the perspective of the Occupational Health Service (OHS) company providing the expertise knowledge. The aim of the study was to explore factors within OHS companies which facilitate ergonomic interventions. Semi-structured interviews with twelve ergonomists employed at eight different OHS-companies in Sweden, were performed. Five main facilitators were identified as important for ergonomic interventions; having close relationships with the client, clients’ awareness of the wide-ranging competence of the ergonomist, utilization of standardized methods, specialization/industry knowledge and internal knowledge sharing.

Keywords
Occupational Health Services, Ergonomic interventions, Interviews, Qualitative analysis
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-178776 (URN)
Conference
The 47th International the Nordic Ergonomics Society Conference, NES2015, in Lillehammer, Norway, November 1-4th, 2015.
Note

QC 20151216

Available from: 2015-12-08 Created: 2015-12-08 Last updated: 2017-01-26Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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