Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Implementation at worksite level
Thursday, 06/Jun/2019:
10:30am - 12:00pm

Session Chair: Åsa Tjulin
Session Chair: Cécile R. Boot
Location: Auditorium 100

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Task Rotation: Implementation in an Industrial Setting.

Carole James, Mijanur Rahman

University of Newcastle, Australia


Task, or job rotation alternates workers between differing tasks or workstations to use different skills and responsibilities at each rotation point. The primary objective of a rotation scheme is to control the level of exposure to hazards, to minimize the accumulated biomechanical stress, reduce the risk of workplace injuries and improve worker satisfaction.


This study investigated the physical and psychological effects on employee health and safety and the challenges to implementing a task rotation schedule at a whole of site level in an underground coal mine.

Methods: This was a case control study with two underground coalmines in NSW, Australia. Survey data was collected at baseline, 6 months and 12 months after implementation of a task-rotation schedule at one site. Measures included: demographic data; Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire; K10 psychological distress scale; Need for Recovery after work scale; Australian WHOQOL- BREF (Quality of Life); in addition a task log was kept at the intervention site. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, t-test, chi-square and logistic regression.


Longitudinal analysis found significant differences between time points at the intervention site, between the scores of each of the scales (Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire; K10 psychological distress scale; Need for Recovery after work scale; and Australian WHOQOL- BREF), however no significant differences between the intervention and control site. Musculoskeletal differences between different work locations at the intervention site and variation in the amount of rotation according to shift were found.


The challenges of implementing, and the execution of a whole of site task rotation schedule need consideration with potential review to assist in effectively controlling injury and fatigue risk within the extremely dynamic, unpredictable and unique occupation of underground coalmining. Suggestions for future task rotation implementation will be presented.

Barriers and Facilitators Affecting Implementation of Physical Activity at Workplaces: A Mixed-methods Scoping Review

Anne Garne-Dalgaard1, Stephanie Mann1, Mette Jensen Stochkendahl1,2

1University of Southern Denmark, Denmark; 2Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics

Background: The majority of the adult working population spends a great deal of their time at work, which makes workplaces opportune arenas for implementing health promoting initiatives such as physical activity (PA). Unfortunately, PA programmes at workplaces have resulted in only moderate short-term effects, partly because the uptake and sustainability of the programmes have been poor. To ensure long-term outcomes, there is a need for a better understanding of barriers and facilitators affecting uptake of PA by both employers and employees.

Methods: This scoping review aims to descriptively summarize implementation approaches including barriers and facilitators affecting uptake of workplace-based PA. English qualitative and quantitative articles published in MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus or PsycINFO until May 2018 and describing implementation of workplace PA (e.g. cardio-vascular, stretching or strengthening exercise or “brain breaks”) were included. Implementation approaches, barriers and facilitators were coded and analysed using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF).

Results: After dual, blinded screening of titles and abstracts, nine articles were included in the review. A total of 109 implementation factors were identified, including 57 barriers and 52 facilitators. Most represented barriers in the TDF domains were Environmental Context & Resources (ECR), n=27 (37%), Social Influences (SI), n=12 (16%), and Intentions, n=9 (12%). The most represented facilitators in the TDF domains were SI, n=15 (21%), ECR, n=13 (19%), and Goals, n=8 (11%). Several different methods of implementation were applied, including “change agents” and supervised exercise.

Conclusion: The uptake of PA in workplaces is affected by the incorporation of PA in the daily workflow. Dedicated time, minimal disruption of workflow, and social support from co-workers and management increases uptake of PA, whereas lack of the same hinder uptake. To increase the long-term benefits of PA and the success of implementation, these factors have to be considered before developing and initiating PA-programmes at workplaces.

Worker-centered Approaches For Developing An Integrated Organizational Intervention to improve low wage worker health, safety and wellbeing

Susan Elizabeth Peters1, Eve M Nagler1,2, Glorian Sorensen1,2

1Harvard Center for Work Health and Wellbeing, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, U.S.A.; 2Dana Farber Cancer Institue, Boston, MA, U.S.A.

Introduction:Inclusion of worker-centered approaches in developing organizational change priorities have been found to be linked to the success and sustainability of organizational interventions. However, few organizational interventions have focused on low wage service workers, and how these approaches influence intervention design, implementation and evaluation. The purpose of this paper is to: (i) describe the dimensions of health, safety and wellbeing of importance to low-wage food service workers and the working conditions perceived to impact on health safety and wellbeing using participatory processes; and, (ii) describe the application of qualitative data collected from front line workers and management in developing an organizational change intervention for food service workers in the U.S.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews with 21 managers at various levels and focus groups with 30 front-line food service workers from a large multi-national food service and facilities management company in the U.S. were conducted to inform intervention design including identification of outcomes, working conditions and intervention processes for an organizational change intervention.

Results:Workers and managers reported that key health and safety concerns in their workplace centered around their work-related wellbeing, musculoskeletal disorders and injuries, work engagement, job satisfaction, workers’ intention to leave and work absence. These were largely affected by the fast-paced and unpredictable nature of their work, physical environment, staffing, co-worker and supervisor support, horizontal and vertical lines of communication in the organization, and opportunities for job enrichment / career development.

Discussion:We will discuss how these data informed our intervention design which is currently being tested through a randomized pilot trial.

Conclusion: Worker-centered approaches were integral in designing an intervention that benefited all the key stakeholders. These processes helped to secure both management support and worker buy-in for the intervention.

What Data Should Be Used for the Evaluation of the Implementation Process of an Ergonomic Intervention?

Émilie Desjardins1, Hélène Sultan-Taïeb1, France St-Hilaire2, Nicole Vézina1, Élise Ledoux1, Patricia Bélanger1

1Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada; 2Université de Sherbrooke, Canada

In the meat and poultry transformation industry, knives’ efficiency is a preventive factor for musculoskeletal disorders. A knives sharpening and steeling program was developed in a plant. It was a train the trainer program with the training of internal trainers by ergonomists and the training of workers by internal trainers. Ergonomists were also in charge of creating organizational and material conditions favorable to knowledge transfer. This program has been implemented in several plants in Québec for the last 20 years and has never been evaluated. Data collection for the evaluation of the implementation process (EIP) of an intervention is always challenging given the limited availability of actors. Several tools including information written down during the implementation have been developed by the ergonomists to carry out the program. This study aimed to determine (1) whether data available in these tools could be used for EIP, and (2) what other data should be collected to complete the EIP.

Six tools used by the ergonomists to implement the program (ErgoTIPs) and three additional data collection tools (AddCTs) were used. ErgoTIPs included field notes, logbooks and observation tools. AddCTs included observation of an intervention day and interviews with ergonomists. A correspondence analysis was performed to assess the contribution of ErgoTIPs and AddCTs data to EIP with respect to 62 dimensions composing our evaluation framework.

Results showed that AddCTs contributed to fulfill more dimensions than ErgoTIPs across the 62 dimensions, but ErgoTIPs brought about specific information on the communication of intervention objectives and on pre-existing prevention actions. Moreover, it appears that data collections requiring the less time from actors during the intervention also contribute to fulfill the most dimensions. Our results contribute to the feasibility of EIP of this type of intervention and enhance the importance of an integrated approach between evaluators and ergonomists.

Workplace Practices And Policies To Support Workers With Depression: Development Of A Resource Guide For OHS Stakeholders

Kim Cullen1,2, Dwayne Van Eerd2, Emma Irvin2, Morgane Le Pouesard2, Judy Geary3, Anita Dubey4

1Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada; 2Institute for Work & Health, Canada; 3Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences; 4Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Introduction: Mental health at work is an increasingly important public health issue, with mood disorders now recognized among the leading causes of work disability in most developed countries. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, half a million workers miss work in any given week. This leads to an overwhelming burden for workplaces in terms of high rates of absenteeism, reduced productivity and increased disability-related costs. The purpose of this project was twofold: 1) to identify evidence-informed workplace strategies to support individuals experiencing depression and 2) to create a resource guide to aid workplaces in implementing these strategies to address research-to-practice knowledge gaps in work disability prevention.

Methods: We applied an adapted evidence-informed decision-making model and an integrated knowledge transfer and exchange strategy in this study. Three sources of evidence (i.e., research findings, practitioner expertise and stakeholder experiences) were synthesized to identify effective workplace practices and policies to prevent productivity losses, promote stay-at-work, and support return-to-work for workers with depression. We engaged with OHS stakeholders throughout the project to inform the development of our resource guide to disseminate our findings to key audiences and potential end-users.

Findings: Results from this study support the effectiveness of our adapted model for evidence-informed decision-making to address important knowledge gaps in work disability prevention research. The resulting resource guide for workplace parties titled: “An evidence-informed guide to supporting people with depression in the workplace” has been well received by OHS stakeholders. In its first quarter of circulation, the resource has become the top download from IWH’s website.

Conclusion: This study’s primary strength resided in the use of three sources of evidence (i.e., research findings, practitioner expertise and stakeholder experiences) for the creation of a practical guide. This is a compelling feature and one that is often lacking in other workplace resources about depression.

Mates in Mining: An Industry Mental Health Program

Carole James, Mijanur Rahman, Emma Sayers, Brian Kelly

University of Newcastle, Australia


Mental health problems and their impact on workplace health is a growing issue. Such problems affect the individual, their family, and the workplace and result in economic burden most profoundly in the working age population. Workplaces provide important opportunities for promoting good mental health and wellbeing.


To investigate changes in employee mental health awareness, attitudes to mental health, psychological distress and suicide awareness following the implementation of the mates in mining mental health program.


Employees from two coal mines in New South Wales and Queensland, Australia participated in this r 2 year study. Survey data from 1,651 participants was collected across three time-point before, at 6 months and 18 months post implementation of the program. Chi-square analysis was conducted to examine differences and bivariate association, and multi-variable logistic regression was applied to explore the adjusted association.


There were no significant changes in psychological distress over the three time-points, with 33% reporting moderate to very high levels of distress at each time.

Stigmatising attitudes toward mental illness significantly changed, with more participants disagreeing with being treated differently by friends, or colleagues if they disclosed a mental illness (p<0.01).

There was a significant increase in participants likelihood of seeking help from a supervisor (p=<0.01); colleague (p=<0.01); EAP (p=<0.01); family (p=0.05); friends (p=0.02) and psychologist (p=0.04).

Likelihood of help seeking was significant associated between participants’ gender, age, employment category, relationship status and level of psychological distress (p<0.05).


This program enhanced employee resilience through improved coping skills and social support, as well as the promotion of improved understanding about common mental health problems and effective ways of responding if concerned about oneself or someone else. It also promoted a healthy workplace culture including stigma reduction, to promote support among work teams and peers.

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