Evaluation of Participatory Strategies on the Use of Ergonomic Measures and Costs
The implementation and use of ergonomic measures is dependent on behavioural changes of both employers and employees. In these stakeholder-groups different barriers could emerge with respect to using ergonomic measures. Participatory strategies – guided by professional ergonomic consultants – are thought to stimulate behavioural change of the stakeholders and a better chance for starting interventions on barriers in order to increase the use of ergonomic measures. In the present cluster randomized controlled trial, the effect of two participatory guidance strategies – a face-to-face or an e-mail guidance strategy - on the use of ergonomic measures among construction workers and related company costs were studied. Only five out of twelve companies actually implemented ergonomic measures. Within these five companies, both participatory guidance strategies are thought to be capable of improving the actual use of ergonomic measures by workers. The face-to-face guidance strategy, however, may be more suitable in a company context where lack of insight in relevant work-related risk factors exists. Costs were determined by guidance costs in the F2F group and purchasing costs in the EG group. The cost analysis provided insight into the financial consequences of the ergonomic measures to the companies, but the large variety in purchasing costs made a comparison between the two guidance strategies in this study irrelevant.
KeywordsParticipatory ergonomics Ergonomic measures Costs Construction industry Prevention Cluster randomized controlled trial
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