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Health at work and risk factors related to ergonomics: some results from the Swiss sample of the 4th European working conditions survey
Title of the conference
Regenerative medicine, CHUV Research Day, January 17, 2008
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et de médecine
Introduction The European Foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions conducts a survey every 5 years since 1990. The foundation also offers the possibility to non-EU countries to be included in the survey: in 2005, Switzerland took part for the first time in the fourth edition of this survey. The Institute for Work and Health (IST) has been associated to the Swiss project conducted under the leadership of the SECO and the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz. The survey covers different aspects of work like job characteristics and employment conditions, health and safety, work organization, learning and development opportunities, and the balance between working and non-working life (Parent-Thirion, Fernandez Macias, Hurley, & Vermeylen, 2007). More particularly, one question assesses the worker's self-perception of the effects of work on health. We identified (for the Swiss sample) several factors affecting the risk to report health problems caused by work. The Swiss sample includes 1040 respondents. Selection of participants was based on a random multi-stage sampling and was carried out by M.I.S Trend S.A. (Lausanne). Participation rate was 59%. The database was weighted by household size, gender, age, region of domicile, occupational group, and economic sector. Specially trained interviewers carried out the interviews at the respondents home. The survey was carriedout between the 19th of September 2005 and the 30th of November 2005. As detailed in (Graf et al., 2007), 31% of the Swiss respondents identify work as the cause of health problems they experience. Most frequently reported health problems include back pain (18%), stress (17%), muscle pain (13%), and overall fatigue (11%). Ergonomic aspects associated with higher risk of reporting health problems caused by work include frequent awkward postures (odds ratio [OR] 4.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.1 to 5.4), tasks involving lifting heavy loads (OR 2.7, 95% CI 2.0 to 3.6) or lifting people (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.4 to 3.5), standing or walking (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.9), as well as repetitive movements (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.3 to 2.3). These results highlight the need to continue and intensify the prevention of work related health problems in occupations characterized by risk factors related to ergonomics.
Occupational Health , Risk Factors , Health Surveys
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