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.. | Volume 11 Number 2, 2005 (free)

Volume 11 Number 2, 2005






Incidence of Stress and Psychosocial Factors on Musculoskeletal Disorders in CAD and Data Entryl
François Cail, Michel Aptel

A comparative study concerning the incidence of psychosocial factors and stress on musculoskeletal disorders(MSD) was conducted on 30 males carrying out a computer-aided design (CAD) task and on 26 females carrying out a data entry task. Both populations completed a questionnaire concerning complaints of MSD, stress symptoms, psychosocial factors and working life. This study showed that the work context was more favourable to the data entry task operators than to the CAD task operators. In addition, there were relationships in CAD and in data entry between complaints of MSD and stress variables as well as between anguish and psychosocial factors. This field study has shown the importance of stress and of the work context in the occurrence of MSD in computer work.

Toxicity of Medical Glove Materials: A Pilot Study
Emma-Christin Lönnroth

Cytotoxicity of 14 glove materials representing 4 natural rubber latex, 6 synthetic rubber and 4 synthetic polymeric materials was evaluated using dimethylthiazol diphenyltetrazolium (MTT), agar overlay and filter diffusion tests. Cell responses after contact with extracts of glove materials and contact with glove materials were assessed. One synthetic rubber glove (nitrile rubber) and 2 synthetic polymeric gloves (polyvinyl chloride)were non-toxic in all 3 tests, while 5 synthetic rubbers exhibited varying degrees of cytotoxicity, depending on the test. A severe cytotoxic response to both extracts of natural rubber latex materials and contact with natural rubber latex was verified in the 3 tests, indicating a need for consideration when selecting gloves, or other products, used in close skin contact.

Job Level Risk Assessment Using Task Level Strain Index Scores: A Pilot Study
Phillip Drinkaus, Donald S. Bloswick, Richard Sesek, Clay Mann, Thomas Bernard

This paper explores 2 methods of modifying the Strain Index (SI) to assess the ergonomic risk of multi-task jobs. Twenty-eight automotive jobs (15 cases and 13 controls) were studied. The first method is based on the maximum task SI score, and the second method is modeled on the NIOSH Composite Lifting Index (CLI) algorithm, named cumulative assessment of risk to the distal upper extremity (CARD). Significant odds ratios of 11 (CI 1.7–69) and 24 (CI 2.4–240) were obtained using the modified maximum task and CARD, respectively. This indicates that modification of the SI may be useful in determining the risk of distal upper extremity injury associated with a multi-task job.

Usage of Human Reliability Quantification Methods
Miroljub Grozdanovic

Human reliability quantification (HRQ) methods are becoming increasingly important in risk and accident assessment in systems these terms are usually related to (hi-tech industrial systems, including nuclear and chemical plants). These methods began to intensively develop after numerous accidents caused by human error or inadequate activity of people who controlled and managed complex technological processes. For already existing systems, but also for new ones, it is important to assess the possibility of an accident. Determination of possible preventive activities, which include the influence of human error on the safety of a system, is also required. These are the main goals of the HRQ method. Using Absolute Probability Judgment (APJ) and Success Likelihood Index Methods (SLIM) HRQ techniques in control and management centers in electro-power systems in Belgrade and railway traffic in Nis (both in Serbia and Montenegro) are shown in this paper.

Refinery Firefighters: Assessing Fitness for Duty
Maxwell Fogleman, Faiyaz A. Bhojani

Firefighting is a hazardous and physically demanding activity. The demanding nature of the tasks involved in firefighting requires a high level of fitness both for the safety of the firefighting personnel as well as for the adequate performance of their tasks. Here, the characteristics (body weight, lung function, etc.) of a small group of refinery firefighters were investigated using exploratory factor analysis and discriminant analysis. The results indicated that there is a group of factors that characterize those individuals meeting minimum fitness requirements as described previously in the literature. The factors that were identified included those related to anthropometry (such as body composition and weight) and those related to physical capabilities (such as push-ups). Since these data are collected relatively easily in most occupational settings, they may offer an efficient surrogate method to determine fitness for duty among firefighters.

Harmful Postures and Musculoskeletal Symptoms Among Sanitation Workers of a Fish Processing Factory in Ghana: A Preliminary Investigation
Reginald Quansah

This study investigated musculoskeletal symptoms among sanitation workers of a fish-processing factory. The methods used included administration of a questionnaire, walk through observation, interview, task analysis and future workshop. All 27 male participants answered and submitted their questionnaires. Of the 11 operations identified, all except one was considered safe. Bent back, bent legs, and heavy manual handling were observed to impose intolerable health risk on participants. This corresponds with questionnaire results where musculoskeletal symptoms were mostly prevalent in the neck, the shoulder, the low back, the wrists/hands and the upper back regions. Poor psychosocial complaints were also made on the job. There was no significant correlation (p < .05) between musculoskeletal symptoms and age, working hours and length of service. Neither was any significant correlation observed (p < .05) between psychosocial work factors and musculoskeletal symptoms. Recommendations such as task redesign to eliminate high-risk elements in operations, workplace changes and worker training were suggested.

Harmful Postures and Musculoskeletal Symptoms Among Fish Trimmers of a Fish Processing Factory in Ghana: A Preliminary Investigation
Reginald Quansah

This study investigated musculoskeletal symptoms among fish trimmers (skinners and polishers) in a fish processing factory in Ghana. The methods used included administration of questionnaire, walk through observation, interview, task analysis and future workshop. All 50 female participants answered and submitted their questionnaires. Of the 11 operations performed by skinners only 1 was rated as low risk. Also of the 12 operations performed by polishers only 2 were rated as low risk. Neck side bending, neck flexion, prolonged standing, shoulder elevation, abducted arms, repetitious reaching forward and wrist deviation were observed in most operations. This corresponds with questionnaire results in which musculoskeletal symptoms were mostly prevalent in the neck, the shoulder, the low back, the wrist/hand and the knee regions. There was no significant correlation (p < .05) between musculoskeletal symptoms and age, working hours and length of service. Task redesign, workplace changes and worker training were suggested to improve work.

Locking of Retractable Type Fall Arresters—Test Method and Stand
Krzysztof Baszczyński

Retractable type fall arresters are very effective personal equipment protecting against falls from a height. These devices are used under different atmospheric conditions and in the presence of various types of industrial pollution. For this reason appropriate locking after conditioning simulating extreme conditions of a worksite is one of the essential characteristics of retractable type fall arresters. This article presents the requirements for locking of the devices. A previously used locking test method and its disadvantages are discussed. The articlen suggests an improved test method and test equipment. Measurement of the test mass acceleration is the most important improvement introduced into the test method. The article shows laboratory tests used to verify the method, which turned out to be a valuable source of information concerning the performance of retractable type fall arresters.

Participatory Ergonomics and an Evaluation of a Low-Cost Improvement Effect on Cleaners’ Working Posture
Rupesh Kumar, Montakarn Chaikumarn, Jan Lundberg

Cleaning is a highly physically demanding job with a high frequency of awkward postures and working environments as contributing risk factors. Participatory ergonomics is a method in which end-users take an active role in identifying risk factors and solutions. The aim of this study was to apply the participatory ergonomics method to identify cleaning problems and to evaluate the effect of a low-cost improvement on cleaners’ working postures in an office environment. The results show that the cleaning problem was identified, and the low-cost ergonomics solution suggested by the cleaners was implemented. Thus an improved working environment reduced the number of awkward cleaning postures and the Ovako Working Posture Analysis System (OWAS) action category for floor mopping decreased. It can be concluded that working in an improved environment can lead to better working postures which, in turn, leads to the cleaners’ better health and better cleaning results.

Investigations of Single and Multilayer Structures Using Lock-In Thermography—Possible Applications
Grzegorz Gralewicz, Grzegorz Owczarek, Bogusław Więcek

This paper presents a study of the possibilities of evaluating thermal parameters of single and multilayer structures using dynamic thermography. It also discusses potential uses of lock-in thermography. It presents a simulation of a periodic excitation of a multilayer composite material. In practice, the described methods can be employed in various applications, for example, in multilayer nonwoven microelectronic components manufactured from hemp fibers, chemical fibers, with an addition of electrically conducting fibers, and in medicine and biology. This paper describes tests conducted with lock-in thermography on carbon fibre reinforced composites with implanted delamination defects. Lock-in thermography is a versatile tool for non-destructive evaluation (NDE). Lock-in thermography is a fast, remote and non-destructive procedure. Hence, it has been used to detect delaminations in the composite structure of aircraft. This method directly contributes to an improvement in safety.

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