Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2023;49(2):108-116    pdf full text

https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.4068 | Published online: 08 Nov 2022, Issue date: 01 Mar 2023

The association between the use of shift schedule evaluation tool with ergonomics recommendations and occupational injuries: A 4-year prospective cohort study among healthcare workers

by Shiri R, Turunen J, Karhula K, Koskinen A, Sallinen M, Ropponen A, Ervasti J, Härmä M

Objective This study aimed to find out whether utilizing a shift schedule evaluation tool with ergonomics recommendations for working hours has favorable effects on the incidence of occupational injuries.

Methods This 4-year prospective cohort study (2015–2018) consisted of a dynamic cohort of healthcare shift workers (N=29 237) from ten hospital districts and six cities in Finland. Working hour characteristics and occupational injuries were measured with daily registry data. Multilevel generalized linear model was used for the analyses, and the estimates were controlled for hierarchical structure of the data and confounders.

Results Ward heads of the cities used the shift schedule evaluation tool 3.2 times more often than ward heads of the hospital districts. Overall incidence of workplace and commuting injuries did not differ between users and non-users of the evaluation tool. The incidence of dislocations, sprains, and strains was lower in the users than non-users [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.88, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.78–0.99]. Approximately 13% of this association was mediated by increase in realized shift wishes and 10% by increase in single days off. In subgroup analyses, the incidence of workplace injury (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.69–0.99), and among types of injuries, the incidence of dislocations, sprains, and strains (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.55–0.85) and falling, slipping, tripping, or overturning (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.58–0.99) were lower in users than non-users among employees of the cities, but no association was found among employees of the hospital districts.

Conclusion The use of ergonomics recommendations for working hours is associated with a reduced risk of occupational injuries.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2015;41(3):268-279  2018;44(4):394-402  2018;44(4):385-393  2019;45(2):166-173  2020;46(5):480-487  2020;46(6):570-578
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