RR626 - Feasibility of carrying out an ergonomics intervention study to prevent the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders


This work is in response to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) tender specification entitled: "Feasibility of Assessing the Effectiveness of Preventative Workplace Ergonomic Interventions". This requested an examination of the feasibility of assessing the effectiveness of such interventions to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Reducing the risk of workers suffering these problems would reduce the resultant burden of pain, medical treatment and work-loss.

Preventative (primary) interventions are distinct from secondary interventions, as these are aimed at preventing chronic disability in individuals already experiencing musculoskeletal problems, and from tertiary interventions, which are aimed at rehabilitating or getting back to work individuals suffering from chronic musculoskeletal disorders.

This report reviews existing models of causation of MSDs, reviews the scientific literature on interventions to prevent MSDs, and summarises the relevant epidemiological methods and research protocols. It illustrates the methodological issues through an example project plan and provides checklists for evaluating proposals and reports of randomised intervention studies.

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Updated 2021-04-22