Wednesday, August 8, 2012

NIOSH Proposes Study on Musculoskeletal Disorders

NIOSH has proposed a study on the effectiveness and cost-benefit of OSH interventions to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among workers in the manufacturing sector. The study will focus on two intervention strategies for reducing MSD symptoms and pain:

      1. Articulating spring-tensioned tool support device that unloads from the worker the weight of the tool that would otherwise be manually supported;
      2. a targeted exercise program intended to increase individual employees' strength and endurance in the shoulder and upper arm stabilizing muscle group.

Both of these intervention approaches have been used in the manufacturing sector and evidence suggests that they work. However, in order to have tested and complete evidence, NIOSH, in partnership with Toyota, plans to assess the effectiveness of these interventions through controlled trials. The study will be conducted using a randomized group and controlled trial multi-time series design, and NIOSH expects to complete data collection by 2014. To comment on this prospective study, visit the Federal Register.