Mekanisk eksponering (Mechanical exposure) (1071)
Prosjektperiode: 2013 - 2015
Mechanical exposures are important causes of musculoskeletal disorders in Norwegian working life. Our department has been working with these issues for several years and the previous projects "Heavy work" (0116) and "Work ability in seniors" (also numbered 1071) are now enclosed in this project.
This concerns also our main activity: "Work ability for employees in physically demanding work" (1153). Employees above 50 year of age (seniors) constitute a growing part of the society's potential working force. It is important to the society as well as to individuals to preserve the work ability as long as possible. This project aims at elucidating factors that determine work ability and participation in occupations with physically demanding tasks, with emphasis on seniors. This age group shows a high occurrence of musculo-skeletal disorders that are a major cause of complaints, sickness absence and early retirement.
The construction and health care sectors are assumed by most employees and health-care providers to be physically demanding with mechanical risk factors for musculo¬skeletal disorders. A high level of mechanical risk factors at work, combined with a reduced capability of the individual e.g. for seniors, may increase the risk for musculoskeletal disorders and reduce the work ability. However, there is insufficient precise knowledge on what aspects of the mechanical work demands that may be harmful, and furthermore on the effects of recovery after physically demanding work.
This study will objectively describe the mechanical work-related risk factors, the level of activity and recovery during leisure time, and prospectively analyze the risk for musculoskeletal disorders and related sickness absence. Knowledge that will be generated may be used to improve the mechanical work exposures at work, not only making it possible for the seniors to stay longer in working life, but also to prevent musculoskeletal disorders for all age groups.