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Is a participatory approach effective to stimulate using ergonomic measures?

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Author: Molen, H.F. van der · Sluiter, J.K. · Hulshof, C.T.J. · Vink, P. · Duivenbooden, J.C. van · Holman, R. · Frings-Dresen, M.H.W.
Publisher: Elsevier
Place: Oxford
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Pikaar, R.N.Koningsveld, E.A.P.Settels, P.J.M., IEA 2006, 16th World Congress on Ergonomics "Meeting diversity in ergonomics"
Identifier: 277909
Keywords: Ergonomics · Arbeidsproductiviteit


The objective of this study was to examine the effect of a participatory ergonomics (PE) implementation strategy on the use of ergonomic measures reducing the physical work demands of construction work. The ergonomic measures consisted of adjusting working height (two measures) and mechanising the transport of materials (two measures). In a cluster randomised controlled trial, ten bricklaying companies were randomly assigned either to an intervention group which was subjected to a PE implementation strategy (N=5) or to a control group (N=5). The PE implementation strategy consisted of a consultant-guided six-step behavioral change approach in which different stakeholders from the company participated. Bricklayers and bricklayers’ assistants in the intervention group (n=65) and the control group (n=53) were followed for six months and their use of ergonomic measures was compared. The use of ergonomic measures was assessed by means of worksite observations and questionnaires at baseline and after six months. The PE in this study did not increase the use of ergonomic measures in either bricklaying or in the transport of materials. For ergonomics practice, it is advisable to take the adopter groups into account when determining where and how the ergonomic measures should be implemented.