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February/March 2009 (vol. 05/5)

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Research Plus

Participatory ergonomics

A two-year randomised controlled trial in Finland studied the impact of participatory ergonomics on the development of musculoskeletal disorders. The study involved 504 workers in 119 municipal kitchens (randomised into 60 control and 59 intervention groups).Workers in the intervention kitchens were taught basic principles of ergonomics and the functioning of the musculoskeletal system, then trained in task and risk analysis and on seeking solutions to decrease their physical and mental workload. Workers were followed every three months during the nine-to-12 month intervention and one year after. Although participation was good, the intervention neither reduced perceived physical workload, nor the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain, nor related sick leave.

Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2008; 65(12): 849–856. http://oem.bmj.com/content/65/12/849.abstract

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Occupational Health at Work February/March 2009 (vol. 05/5) pp40