Introduction Workplace musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) give rise to approximately 44% of compensation claims each year within the Canadian mining sector. Despite the immensity of reported WMSDs little research has been conducted within said population. The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of physical ergonomic interventions and a participatory MSD prevention program on the reduction of MSD risk-factors within core-shack operators. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the awkward postures, excessive force requirements, and repetitive material handling found within core-shack operations may be placing workers at a greater risk for MSD development; however, no previous research has been conducted.
Methods Amalgamation of observational based MSD screening tools and direct joint-angle measurements via a mobile movement analysis and motion capture system (NOTCH) will be used. Siemens Classic Jack human modelling software will be utilised to provide ergonomic assessments within a simulated environment. Resultant data will be used to develop targeted physical ergonomic interventions to mitigate MSD risk-factors within at-risk tasks. The Occupational Health and Safety Council of Ontario (OHSCO) MSD Prevention Toolbox 3C and New South Wales Mine Safety and Advisory Committee MSD Prevention Guide will be used as a reference for the development of a participatory MSD Prevention Program.
Result It is anticipated that the implementation of targeted workplace ergonomic interventions in conjunction with a participatory MSD prevention program will provide a comprehensive approach to MSD risk factor identification and prevention strategies. Moreover, it is expected that the intervention components will increase communication and decision latitude within core-shack operations.
Discussion The prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries with the Canadian mining industry is of particular concern. The dissemination of this study will be shared with participating mines so improvements can be made to aide in worker health and safety and prevention of musculoskeletal injuries.
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