A randomized and controlled trial of a participative ergonomics intervention to reduce injuries associated with manual tasks: physical risk and legislative compliance.

Research paper by L L Straker, R R Burgess-Limerick, C C Pollock, R R Egeskov

Indexed on: 09 Dec '03Published on: 09 Dec '03Published in: Ergonomics


A participative ergonomics approach to reducing injuries associated with manual tasks is widely promoted; however only limited evidence from uncontrolled trials has been available to support the efficacy of such an approach. This paper reports on a randomized and controlled trial of PErforM, a participative ergonomics intervention designed to reduce the risks of injury associated with manual tasks. One hundred and seventeen small to medium sized food, construction, and health workplaces were audited by government inspectors using a manual tasks risk assessment tool (ManTRA). Forty-eight volunteer workplaces were then randomly assigned to Experimental and Control groups with the Experimental group receiving the PErforM program. Inspectors audited the workplaces again, 9 months following the intervention. The results showed a significant decrease in estimates of manual task risk and suggested better legal compliance in the Experimental group.