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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182a7e65a
Original Articles

Results of a Pilot Intervention to Improve Health and Safety for Health Care Workers

Caspi, Caitlin Eicher ScD; Dennerlein, Jack T. PhD; Kenwood, Christopher MS; Stoddard, Anne M. ScD; Hopcia, Karen ScD, NP; Hashimoto, Dean MD; Sorensen, Glorian PhD, MPH

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Abstract

Objective: To test the feasibility of a multicomponent pilot intervention to improve worker safety and wellness in two Boston hospitals.

Methods: A 3-month intervention was conducted on seven hospital units. Pre- (374 workers) and postsurveys (303 workers) assessed changes in safety/ergonomic behaviors and practices, and social support. Wellness outcomes included self-reported pain/aching in specific body areas (musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs) and physical activity (PA).

Results: Pain was reported frequently (81%), and PA averaged 4 hours per week. There was a postintervention increase in safe patient handling (P < 0.0001), safety practices (P = 0.0004), ergonomics (P = 0.009), and supervisor support (P = 0.01), but no changes in MSDs or PA.

Conclusions: Safe patient handling, ergonomics, and safety practices are good targets for worker safety and wellness interventions; longer intervention periods may reduce the risk of MSDs.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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