Action Levels for the Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Neck and Upper Extremities: A Proposal

Source avec lien : Annals of Work Exposures and Health, (wxab012), . 10.1093/annweh/wxab012

Il existe plusieurs facteurs de risque bien connus de troubles musculo-squelettiques (TMS) liés au travail. Malgré ces connaissances, trop de personnes travaillent encore dans des conditions dangereuses. L’absence de limites d’exposition professionnelle (LEMP) pour la charge de travail physique entrave à la fois la surveillance et le travail de prévention. Pour prévenir les myalgies, les troubles tendineux et les pincements de nerfs dans le système musculo-squelettique supérieur, nous proposons des niveaux d’action concernant les postures de travail, les vitesses de mouvement et les charges musculaires enregistrées par des équipements portables.

There are several well-known risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Despite this knowledge, too many people still work in harmful conditions. The absence of occupational exposure limits (OELs) for physical workload impedes both supervision and preventive work. To prevent myalgia, tendon disorders, and nerve entrapments in the upper musculoskeletal system, we propose action levels concerning work postures, movement velocities and muscular loads recorded by wearable equipment. As an example, we propose that wrist velocity should not exceed 20°/s as a median over a working day. This has the potential to reduce the prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in highly exposed male occupational groups by 93%. By reducing upper arm velocity in highly exposed female groups to the suggested action level 60°/s, the prevalence of pronounced neck/shoulder myalgia with clinical findings (tension neck syndrome) could be reduced by 22%. Furthermore, we propose several other action levels for the physical workload. Our ambition is to start a discussion concerning limits for physical workload, with the long-term goal that OELs shall be introduced in legislation. Obviously, the specific values of the proposed action levels can, and should, be discussed. We hope that quantitative measurements, combined with action levels, will become an integral part of systematic occupational health efforts, enabling reduction and prevention of work-related MSDs.

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