Participatory ergonomics: co-developing interventions to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal symptoms in business drivers
journal contributionposted on 10.01.2013 by Diane Gyi, Katherine J.C. Sang, Cheryl Haslam
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
The participatory process within four case study organisations with a target population of high mileage business drivers is described. The aim was to work with drivers and their managers to co-develop intervention activities to raise awareness of musculoskeletal health in drivers, including use of the car as a mobile office and manual handling from the car. Train-the-trainer sessions were delivered in each organisation, along with the co-production of training materials. The effectiveness of these activities were evaluated using three sources of data: post-intervention questionnaires, interviews with organisation ‘champions’ and observations from the research team's diaries. The approach raised management awareness of the risks to drivers and was successful in affecting change, and as such, participatory research should consider the early stages of a project as part of any intervention activities. The research team also reflect on conducting applied longitudinal research in the field. Practitioner Summary: Raising awareness of the risks of musculoskeletal disorders in drivers who work from their vehicle is important. This paper reflects on research in the field and provides guidance on the participatory process and evaluating intervention activities. The participatory process was successful in affecting change at management level.