Introduction Ergonomic measures are available to reduce high physical work demands among construction workers. Providing construction workers with information of risk factors alone will not be effective in increasing the use of ergonomic measures due to the complex working environment, the involvement of many different stakeholders and the conservative nature of the construction industry. Our aim was to study the process of face-to-face (F2F) and e-guidance (EG) strategies of participatory ergonomics (PE) company projects on the implementation of ergonomic measures to prevent musculoskeletal disorders.
Methods The implementation process was evaluated alongside a cluster randomised parallel intervention trial with a follow-up at six months regarding the effect of two PE guidance strategies on the use of ergonomic measures. The design of the study was described in Visser, et al. (2014). Ergonomic consultants guided six companies through face-to-face contact in F2F and six through email contact in EG. Whether the intervention was delivered as planned was evaluated by the process evaluation components dose delivered and dose received as described by Linnan and Steckler (2002). In addition, satisfaction and behavioural change among construction workers were evaluated.
Result Implementation activities delivered (F2F: 63%; EG: 44%) and received (F2F: 42%; EG 16%) in companies were low. The satisfaction with the PE strategies was strongly affected by the actual activities in the companies. For behavioural change, knowledge regarding risk factors and ergonomic measures (+14%; F2F) and culture regarding the norms, values and expectations of the company regarding working with ergonomic measures (+26%; EG) among workers increased.
Discussion This study showed that compliance to a face-to-face and an e-guidance strategy is low. To improve the compliance, it is advised to start with a face-to-face meeting with all stakeholders to see which parts of the intervention are needed and which guidance strategy can be used for these parts.
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