Effects of an ergonomics intervention among hospital billing department employees

Bradley A. Evanoff, Jeanne H. Button, Laurie D. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are a frequent problem among office workers. We studied the effects of an ergonomics intervention among employees of a large hospital billing department. Methods: This prospective intervention trial involved employee education sessions on office ergonomics and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders, plus workstation modifications. Results: 115 employees of a hospital billing department participated in the initial program and 59 completed 4-year follow-up questionnaire. The 4-year post-intervention period was marked by decreased risk of OSHA-reportable injury (RR=0.45, 95% CI 0.26-0.78). Total lost days declined from 63.2 to 6.4 per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE). Annual workers' compensation costs declined from $432/FTE to $185/FTE. These improvements were significantly greater than those seen in the hospital as a whole. The proportion of employees with musculoskeletal symptoms declined on short-term follow-up. These changes in injury and cost occurred in the setting of increasing job demands and decreasing job satisfaction. Conclusion: Substantial reductions in work-related musculoskeletal disorders were seen following an ergonomics intervention among office workers.

Conference

ConferenceProceedings of the XIVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association and 44th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Association, 'Ergonomics for the New Millennnium'
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period07/29/0008/4/00

Keywords

  • Cumulative trauma disorders
  • Ergonomics
  • Injury prevention
  • Intervention research
  • Occupational health
  • Office workers
  • Work-related musculoskeletal disorders

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