The application of an industry level participatory ergonomics approach in developing MSD interventions.Appl Ergon. 2016 Jan; 52:151-9.AE
Participatory ergonomics projects are traditionally applied within one organisation. In this study, a participative approach was applied across the New Zealand meat processing industry, involving multiple organisations and geographical regions. The purpose was to develop interventions to reduce musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) risk. This paper considers the value of an industry level participatory ergonomics approach in achieving this. The main rationale for a participative approach included the need for industry credibility, and to generate MSD interventions that address industry level MSD risk factors. An industry key stakeholder group became the primary vehicle for formal participation. The study resulted in an intervention plan that included the wider work system and industry practices. These interventions were championed across the industry by the key stakeholder group and have extended beyond the life of the study. While this approach helped to meet the study aim, the existence of an industry-supported key stakeholder group and a mandate for the initiative are important prerequisites for success.