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Evaluation of an occupational health intervention programme on whole-body vibration in forklift truck drivers: a controlled trial
  1. C T J Hulshof1,
  2. J H A M Verbeek1,
  3. I T J Braam1,
  4. M Bovenzi3,
  5. F J H van Dijk1
  1. 1Academic Medical Center, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Department: Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Research Institute AmCOGG, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  2. 2Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Kuopio Finland
  3. 3Clinical Unit of Occupational Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Trieste, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr C T J Hulshof
 Academic Medical Center, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Department: Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Research Institute AmCOGG, PO Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, the Netherlands; c.t.hulshof{at}amc.uva.nl

Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate process and outcome of a multifaceted occupational health intervention programme on whole-body vibration (WBV) in forklift truck drivers.

Methods: An experimental pretest/post-test control group study design. The authors trained occupational health services (OHS) in the experimental group in the use of the programme. OHS in the control group were asked to deliver care as usual. In total, 15 OHS, 32 OHS professionals, 26 companies, and 260 forklift drivers were involved. Post-test measurements were carried out one year after the start of the programme.

Results: Baseline data before the start of the programme showed no difference between experimental and control group. Results of the outcome evaluation indicate a slight, although not statistically significant, reduction of WBV exposure in the experimental group (p = 0.06). Process evaluation revealed a positive influence on company policy toward WBV, attitude and intended behaviour of forklift drivers, and a trend towards an increase in knowledge of OHS professionals and company managers. The number of observed control measures with a major impact (levelling of surface and reduction of speed) was rather low. In those cases where control measures had been taken, there was a significant reduction in WBV exposure. This limited effect of the programme might be caused by the short period of follow up and the dropout of participants. The feasibility and the usefulness of the programme within the OHS setting were rated good by the participants.

Conclusions: This programme to decrease WBV exposure was partially effective. Significant effects on intermediate objectives were observed. More research on the effectiveness of intervention in the field of WBV is needed.

  • INRS, Institute National de Recherche de Sécurité
  • LBP, low back pain
  • OH, occupational hygienist
  • OHS, occupational health services
  • OP, occupational physicist
  • WBV, whole-body vibration
  • occupational health services
  • prevention
  • back pain
  • occupational physicians
  • occupational hygiene
  • occupational exposure

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Footnotes

  • Published Online First 21 March 2006

  • Competing interests: none.

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