Dissemination and use of a participatory ergonomics guide for workplaces

Publication type
Journal article
Van Eerd D, King T, Keown K, Slack T, Cole DC, Irvin E, Amick B, Bigelow P
Date published
2016 Jan 01
Open Access?

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) result in lost-time injury claims and lost productivity worldwide, placing a substantial burden on workers and workplaces. Participatory ergonomics (PE) is a popular approach to reducing MSDs; however, there are challenges to implementing PE programmes. Using evidence to overcome challenges may be helpful but the impacts of doing so are unknown. We sought to disseminate an evidence-based PE tool and to describe its use. An easy-to-use, evidence-based PE Guide was disseminated to workplace parties, who were surveyed about using the tool. The greatest barrier to using the tool was a lack of time. Reported tool use included for training purposes, sharing and integrating the tool into existing programmes. New actions related to tool use included training, defining team responsibilities and suggesting programme implementation steps. Evidence-based tools could help ergonomists overcome some challenges involved in implementing injury reduction programmes such as PE. Practitioner Summary Practitioners experience challenges implementing programmes to reduce the burden of MSDs in workplaces. Implementing participatory interventions requires multiple workplace parties to be 'on-board'. Disseminating and using evidence-based guides may help to overcome these challenges. Using evidence-based tools may help ergonomics practitioners implement PE programmes