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The effectiveness of an on-site injury prevention process in managing cumulative trauma disorders among physical plant workers

1 May 1996


Cumulative trauma disorders (CTD) account for more than 50% of the occupational injuries in the United States today resulting in rising health care costs, disability compensation, and lost productivity. It has been shown that CTD develop as a result of sustained awkward postures/positions and/or highly repetitive manual handling tasks in the workplace. Those employees suffering from CTD frequently experience pain and functional impairments that primarily involve damage to muscles, tendons, joints, blood vessels, and peripheral nerves of the upper extremities.

Thirty-seven custodial and maintenance workers participated in our study consisting of education on CTO, body mechanics training, and stretching exercises. A "comfort survey" was used to collect demographic data, perceived level of comfort, and psychosocial data initially and two months following our initial intervention. Overall, a decrease was observed in the amount of discomfort reported on pre-test and post-test surveys in almost all of the body areas; however, the only statistically significant decrease was found in the head/neck region. No significant differences were observed regarding psychosocial factors.


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