Assessment of physical risk factors for the shoulder using the Posture, Activity, Tools, and Handling (PATH) method in small-scale commercial crab pot fishing.
ABSTRACT An observational work-sampling technique--Posture, Activity, Tools, and Handling (PATH)--was used to describe the prevalence of awkward postures and other physical risk factors for shoulder symptoms among a purposive sample of 11 small-scale commercial crab pot fishing crews. Fishing activities with awkward shoulder postures included hooking the buoy, feeding the rope into the hydraulic puller, and handling the crab pots. Increasing the size of the crew decreased the frequency of awkward shoulder postures for the captain but not for the mate. Awkward shoulder postures varied by technique, task distribution, equipment, and boat characteristics and setup, indicating these factors may be important determinants of exposure. Care should be taken in assuming personal techniques drives ergonomic exposure variability among these small-scale commercial fishermen.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: There is widespread agreement that work organization is an important element of occupational safety and health, but the health effects of many aspects of work organization are likely to vary considerably across different sectors of work and geographies. METHODS: We examined existing employment policies and work organization-related research relevant specifically to immigrant workers in the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (AgFF) Sector of the US workforce focusing, when possible, on the southeastern US. RESULTS: A number of specific aspects of work organization within AgFF subsectors have been described, but most of this literature exists outside the purview of occupational health. There are few studies that directly examine how attributes of work organization relevant to the AgFF Sector affect workers', much less immigrant workers', occupational health exposures and outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to the broader literature, research linking occupational health outcomes to work organization in the AgFF Sector is limited and weak. A systematic program of research and intervention is needed to develop strategies that eliminate or substantially mitigate the deleterious health effects of occupational exposures whose origins likely lie in the organization of AgFF work. Am. J. Ind. Med. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.American Journal of Industrial Medicine 03/2013; · 1.97 Impact Factor