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The Adoption of Ergonomic Innovations for Injury Prevention: Examples from the building construction and health care industries
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Centres, Centre for Health and Building, CHB.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A good work environment is important for the individual, for industry and for society. The work environment research has, predominantly, targeted identification of problems and the measurement of the size of these problems.

Innovations to reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal disorder, MSD, have been introduced in different branches of industry, but with limited success.

Few of the ergonomic innovations developed for the building and construction industry have reached a sufficient level of adoption. Ergonomic innovations in the health care sector are of an incremental character and seem to have similar problems of adoption as the ones in the building and construction industry.

Three examples of ergonomic innovation are examined in the thesis:

  • a glue spreader for floor layers

  • a four-wheel walker with a lifting device

  • a sonographer’s scanning support device

The studies show that an ergonomic innovation is not adopted for prevention of occupational injury unless the innovation also has other relative advantages apart from the ergonomic ones. For the group who already has sustained an injury, it is enough that the ergonomic problems are solved, while the other, symptom-free group, requires other advantages in order to adopt the innovation; increased production economy seems to be the most prominent potential advantage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. , 44 p.
Series
TRITA-STH : report, ISSN 1653-3836 ; 2014:6
Keyword [en]
Ergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders, ergonomic innovation, adoption, four-wheel walker, lifting device, sonographer support, floor laying
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Technology and Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-158523ISBN: 978-91-7595-417-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-158523DiVA: diva2:778030
Public defence
2015-01-30, 7093, CHB, Marinens väg 30, Haninge, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20150114

Available from: 2015-01-14 Created: 2015-01-09 Last updated: 2015-02-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Barriers to Adoption of Ergonomic Innovations in the Construction Industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Barriers to Adoption of Ergonomic Innovations in the Construction Industry
2013 (English)In: Ergonomics in design, ISSN 1064-8046, E-ISSN 2169-5083, Vol. 21, no 26, 26-30 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

More work-related injuries and problems occur in the construction industry than in other industries, particularly with regard to musculoskeletal disorders. One reason might be that the industry is organized around projects that lead to short-term benefits and does not stimulate innovations that will reduce injuries in the future. In this article, we present the findings from a survey performed in Sweden among 50 floor-laying companies. The results indicate that short-term income revenues override concerns over the long-term risks of injuries and employees leaving the profession as a result of those injuries.

Keyword
occupational injury, ergonomics, working tools, injury risk, musculoskeletal disorders
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-156885 (URN)10.1177/1064804613488890 (DOI)2-s2.0-84886807606 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150114

Available from: 2014-12-04 Created: 2014-12-04 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
2. Getting up from the floor: Older peroples´ abilities and experiences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Getting up from the floor: Older peroples´ abilities and experiences
(English)In: Physiotherapy, ISSN 0031-9406, E-ISSN 1873-1465Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Objectives: To analyse the movement patterns of people over 75 years of age when getting up from the floor, and to find out what they describe as critical moments in getting up.

Design: Observation of old people performing get up from floor and evaluation of experiences in VIDAR evaluation program.

Setting: Tests were made in a laboratory environment

Participants: 20 participants, eleven women and nine men. The mean age was 79 years.

Result: Most elderly persons in this case did experience difficulties in getting up. The difficulties were mainly described in legs and were related to discomfort, weakness and balance issues. Most of the participants 18 of 20 made the getting up by themselves. The most of the participants 18 of 20 preferred a getting up including a position kneeling. The most critical part in getting were lifting one leg forward and then stretch the legs after kneeling, 17 of 18 described difficulties in this part.

Conclusions: When developing aids to help persons to get up the main goal should be to reduce load on legs and support balance for the user. Training should include balance and muscle exercise of the leg.

Keyword
Elderly, Getting up from floor, Falls, Mobilisation after fall, stand up, experience of getting up
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140191 (URN)
Note

QS 2014

Available from: 2014-01-17 Created: 2014-01-17 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. A walker used as a lifting device
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A walker used as a lifting device
2014 (English)In: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, ISSN 1748-3107, E-ISSN 1748-3115, Vol. 9, no 3, 264-269 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: To develop assistive technology that would help an older person to arise from a kneeling position to a standing one. Methods: Developing a prototype, based on an inclusive design and then testing the prototype to verify the approach. The prototype was subsequently tested by a panel of 20 elderly users. These tests were observed and filmed. Participants' experiences of being lifted with the elevation seat were registered with the VIDAR ergonomic assessment system. Result: None of the 20 participants used a walker at that time. In response to a question of whether, assuming they might have to use a walker in the future, they thought that a walker with an elevating seat would be helpful, 18 said that it would. Two of the participants did not believe that they would ever have to use a walker. Conclusion: A simple assistive technology such as a walker equipped with an elevating seat would in many of these cases simplify matters and reduce the distress of people who fall often. In addition, such a device can allow people who fall often to live in their homes longer. For caregivers dealing frequently with people who fall, this assistive device can contribute to decreasing occupational injuries.

Keyword
Assisitve technology, elderly, falls, rising from floor
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-134203 (URN)10.3109/17483107.2013.825820 (DOI)2-s2.0-84899126679 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20140618

Available from: 2013-11-19 Created: 2013-11-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
4. A Test of a Walker Equipped with a Lifting Device
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Test of a Walker Equipped with a Lifting Device
2013 (English)In: AAATE Conference 2013, 2013, 3-9 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Studies have shown that about a third of all persons over 65 years who live at home fall at least once a year. Development of a lifting device that can help people raise themselves up entirely on their own, or with minimal assistance, would be a revolutionary step for the individual as compared with the lifting devices in use today. A prototype has been developed and the prototype has been tested to verify the approach. Studies have been conducted with nursing staff in a nursing home to find out the conditions for how a walker equipped with a lifting beam could facilitate the work. For caregivers dealing frequently with people who fall, this assistive device can contribute to decreasing occupational injuries.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-134204 (URN)10.3233/978-1-61499-304-9-3 (DOI)2-s2.0-84889070143 (Scopus ID)978-161499303-2 (ISBN)
Conference
AAATE Conference 2013, September 19-22,Vilamoura, Portugal
Note

QC 20140113

Available from: 2013-11-19 Created: 2013-11-19 Last updated: 2015-01-14Bibliographically approved
5. The Adoption of Ergonomic Innovations for Injury Prevention: Sonographer's scanning support device
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Adoption of Ergonomic Innovations for Injury Prevention: Sonographer's scanning support device
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Studies of how people relate to the risk of occupational injury indicate that there is a tendency to underestimate the risk at work compared to other risks in society. Ultrasound examinations of the heart involve a static and very uncomfortable working posture for the sonographer. As a result many sonographers experience shoulder and neck pains which can result in long term sickness leaves.

The purpose of the study was to evaluate how a more radical ergonomic innovation, a remote controlled ultrasound robot for cardiac examinations, Medirob, has been adopted. The study was conducted by interviews with department heads and heads of clinics, responsible for the procurement of the equipment.

The results of this study have shown that it is not maybe enough to solve an ergonomic problem with an innovation to get it accepted and used. To prevent injuries the intervention must also have other qualities, for example improved productivity.

National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-158520 (URN)
Note

QS 2015

Available from: 2015-01-09 Created: 2015-01-09 Last updated: 2015-02-06Bibliographically approved

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