Title: Analysis and risk assessment of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in a physical rehabilitation unit

Authors: Nuno Dias; Isabel L. Nunes

Addresses: Residência S. João de Deus, Instituto S. João de Deus, Rua S. Tomás de Aquino, 20, 1600-871 Lisboa, Portugal ' Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Engenharia Mecânica e Industrial, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Campus de Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal; Computational Intelligence Research Group, Centre of Technologies and Systems – UNINOVA, Campus de Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal

Abstract: This paper presents a work-related musculoskeletal disorders risk analysis for the activities of nurses and nurse assistants working in a physical rehabilitation unit. The methodology used combined a self-reporting questionnaire, the movement and assistance of hospital patients (MAPO) index and the rapid entire body assessment (REBA) method. The results of the questionnaire show that the prevalence of complaints and symptoms of work-related musculoskeletal disorders is high for both professional classes. The MAPO index indicates that the risk is moderate. The analysis using REBA revealed that the selected activities presented medium to high risk to the development of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The results of the study helped to identify the more hazardous activities, which required an intervention programme in the short/medium term to prevent the occurrence of this type of disorders.

Keywords: risk assessment; work-related musculoskeletal disorders; WMSD; physical rehabilitation units; nurses; nurse assistants; questionnaire; patient movement; patient assistance; hospital patients; rapid entire body assessment; REBA; human factors; ergonomics; occupational health; healthcare.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2012.052014

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2012 Vol.1 No.4, pp.318 - 332

Received: 26 Jul 2012
Accepted: 25 Sep 2012

Published online: 09 Feb 2013 *

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