TitleSafety voice for ergonomics (SAVE) project: protocol for a workplace cluster-randomized controlled trial to reduce musculoskeletal disorders in masonry apprentices.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKincl, L, Anton, D, Hess, JA, Weeks, DL
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume16
Pagination362
Date Published2016 Apr 27
ISSN1471-2458
Abstract
 

BACKGROUND: Masons have the highest rate of overexertion injuries among all construction trades and rank second for occupational back injuries in the United States. Identified ergonomic solutions are the primary method of reducing exposure to risk factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders. However, many construction workers lack knowledge about these solutions, as well as basic ergonomic principles. Construction apprentices, as they embark on their careers, are greatly in need of ergonomics training to minimize the cumulative exposure that leads to musculoskeletal disorders. Apprentices receive safety training; however, ergonomics training is often limited or non-existent. In addition, apprenticeship programs often lack "soft skills" training on how to appropriately respond to work environments and practices that are unsafe. The SAVE program - SAfety Voice for Ergonomics - strives to integrate evidence-based health and safety training strategies into masonry apprenticeship skills training to teach ergonomics, problem solving, and speaking up to communicate solutions that reduce musculoskeletal injury risk. The central hypothesis is that the combination of ergonomics training and safety voice promotion will be more effective than no training or either ergonomics training alone or safety voice training alone.

METHODS/DESIGN: Following the development and pilot testing of the SAVE intervention, SAVE will be evaluated in a cluster-randomized controlled trial at 12 masonry training centers across the U.S. Clusters of apprentices within centers will be assigned at random to one of four intervention groups (n = 24 per group): (1) ergonomics training only, (2) safety voice training only, (3) combined ergonomics and safety voice training, or (4) control group with no additional training intervention. Outcomes assessed at baseline, at the conclusion of training, and then at six and 12 months post training will include: musculoskeletal symptoms, general health perceptions, knowledge of ergonomic and safety voice principles, and perception and attitudes about ergonomic and safety voice issues.

DISCUSSION: Masons continue to have a high rate of musculoskeletal disorders. The trade has an expected increase of 40 % in the number of workers by 2020. Therefore, a vetted intervention for apprentices entering the trade, such as SAVE, could reduce the burden of musculoskeletal disorders currently plaguing the trade.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02676635 , 2 February 2016.

DOI10.1186/s12889-016-2989-x
Alternate JournalBMC Public Health
PubMed ID27121123
PubMed Central IDPMC4849095
Grant ListU60 OH009762 / OH / NIOSH CDC HHS / United States