Ergonomic evaluation: part of a treatment protocol for musculoskeletal injuries.AAOHN J. 2005 Oct; 53(10):450-7; quiz 458-9.AJ
Ergonomic analyses and interventions are used as primary prevention methods to reduce physical stressors in the workplace and to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). These methods can also be used for the treatment of injured employees. In this study, 103 employees with WMSDs resulting in more than 5 days away from usual work received an ergonomic evaluation which consisted of observation of usual work tasks, recommendations to minimize identified stressors, and case coordination. The goal of the intervention was to make simple job changes that would assist employees to return safely to usual job duties. The process for implementing this protocol for health care, airline, and university employees is described. The results show that after ergonomic evaluations were performed, the majority of recommendations were fully or partially (89%) implemented. Behavior changes were more likely to occur than administrative and equipment changes (p < .001). Occupational health nurses can use a similar program to enhance treatment plans for clients with WMSDs.