Document Detail

Efficacy of adjusting working height and mechanizing of transport on physical work demands and local discomfort in construction work.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15204287     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The efficacy of ergonomics measures to reduce physical work demands in a real working situation is often assumed, but seldom studied. In this study, the effect of adjusting working height and mechanization of transport on physical work demands and local discomfort of bricklayers' work was evaluated during a field experiment in the construction industry. In a within-subjects controlled experiment, 10 bricklayers and 10 bricklayers' assistants worked in two different conditions. Working height of bricks and mortar, and transport of materials were manipulated. The physical work demands were assessed through real time observations at the work site. Local discomfort of the lower back and of the shoulder region was measured by means of a visual analogue scale. Working with a scaffolding console to adjust the working height of the storage of materials resulted in a significant reduction of the frequency and duration of trunk flexion (> 60 degrees) by 79% and 52% respectively, compared with bricks set out on the ground floor. Mechanization of transport of materials resulted in a significant reduction of the frequency and duration of trunk flexion (> 60 degrees) by 94% and 92% respectively, compared with the condition of manual handling. The frequency of handling objects (> 4 kg) reduced significantly by 86%. Local discomfort of the lower back was significantly less in the ergonomic conditions, while no significant difference was found for local discomfort of the shoulder between both conditions in bricklayers' assistants.
Henk F van der Molen; Robin Grouwstra; P Paul F M Kuijer; Judith K Sluiter; Monique H W Frings-Dresen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Ergonomics     Volume:  47     ISSN:  0014-0139     ISO Abbreviation:  Ergonomics     Publication Date:  2004 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-06-18     Completed Date:  2004-08-13     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0373220     Medline TA:  Ergonomics     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  772-83     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Coronel Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health, AmCOGG Amsterdam Center for Health and Health Care Research, Academic Medical Center/University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Biomechanics / instrumentation
Construction Materials*
Human Engineering / methods*
Industry / manpower
Intervention Studies
Lifting / adverse effects*
Low Back Pain / physiopathology,  prevention & control*
Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology,  prevention & control*
Occupational Diseases / physiopathology,  prevention & control*
Pain Measurement
Physical Exertion / physiology
Task Performance and Analysis
Weight-Bearing / physiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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