News and activities

Recent work fields of the Occupational Health Centre:

The applicability study of Assessment of Repetitive Task (ART) used in Great Britain as tool for musculoskeletal disorders management at Lithuanian companies

Study implementation period: 2016–2017.
Introduction. The Assessment of Repetitive Tasks (ART) tool is posture assessment method that was developed by HSE. ART tool is used to assess a risk of job that requires movements of the upper limbs (arms and hands). The purpose of the assessment is to identify and reduce the overall risk of the task.
Aim of the study – to adapt the Assessment of Repetitive Tasks (ART) tool for Lithuanian companies.
Methodology. Study participants – 38 occupational safety and health professionals and occupational health professionals. Cross-sectional study was conducted to assess body postures of videotask “Collating paper” via ART posture analysis method. Each participant assessed video task. After 2-4 weeks, each of them reassessed the same task. Data were analyzed using SPSS 17 and WinPepi software.
Results. The study has shown that ART tool has substantial agreement of inter-rater reliability (Cohen‘ s kappa) value 0,725 - 1,000 (left side) 0,649-1,000 (right side) and (Intraclass correlation coefficient) value 0,741-1,000 (left side), 0,651-1,000 (right side), sufficiency good internal consistency (Kuder–Richardson) coefficient value 0,818 (left side), 0,738 (right side) and exhibits largely acceptable sensivity – 71,1-97,4 % (left side), 76,3-97,4 % (right side).

For more information contact: Jurate Tamasauskaite, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Research, phone no. (370 5) 212 2589, e-mail: jurate.tamasauskaite@hi.lt

 

Assessment of Repetitive Tasks of upper limbs (the ART tool) has been adapted for Lithuanian companies

The purpose of using ART is to identify significant risks and then reduce the level of risk in the task. ART tool is most suited for tasks that: involve actions of the upper limbs; repeat every few minutes, or even more frequently; and occur for at least 1–2 hours per day or shift.

ART tool is made up of three sections: The assessment guide – this provides detailed information about how to use the tool, the risk factors and the assessment criteria; The flow chart – this provides an overview of the assessment process the task description form and score sheet – this provides a place to record information about the task as well as the findings of the assessment.

The assessment is split into four stages: Stage A: Frequency and repetition of movements; Stage B: Force; Stage C: Awkward postures; Stage D: Additional factors.

For each stage, follow the flow chart and/or assessment guide to determine the level of risk for each risk factor. The levels of risk are: “GREEN“- low level of risk, “AMBER“- medium level of risk – examine task closely, „RED“- high level of risk – prompt action needed. The task scores and exposure scores help prioritise those tasks that need most urgent attention and help check the effectiveness of any improvements. The colours assigned to the risk factors will help identify where to focus risk-reduction measures.

For more information contact: Jurate Tamasauskaite, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Research, phone no. (370 5) 212 2589, e-mail: jurate.tamasauskaite@hi.lt

 

Scientific and Practical Conference "Promoting Physical Activity in Workplaces: Progress and Future Prospects", Vilnius, November  22, 2017

A Scientific and Practical Conference "Promoting Physical Activity in Workplaces: Progress and Future Prospects", took place in Vilnius, Lithuania in  November  22, 2017. Nearly one hundred participants from enterprises, public health bureaus, science and other institutions gathered at the conference.

The presentations were made by lecturers from the World Health Organisation, the Danish National Research Center for the Working Environment, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania, the Department of Physical Education and Sports under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Institute of Hygiene, the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, Šiauliai University , Lithuanian University of Health Sciences.

The first part of the conference discussed the strategic aspects of physical activity promotion in workplaces. The directions of physical activity promotion in workplaces were presented by the representative of the World Health Organisation and the Lithuanian representatives in this area. The second part of the Conference dealt on practical aspects. The lecturers from three universities raised questions about irregular body positioning, the management of ergonomic risk factors, and the ability to address these problems physically.

Evaluating the experience of the world and Lithuanian scientists and the best practices as well as the international recommendations, strategies and legislation related to the development of physical activity at workplaces, the participants of the conference offered to the specialists, employers, employees to pay attention to some advises:

1. To introduce specific physical activity encouragement programs at workplaces, depending on the company’s occupational risk arising from the nature of the activity; and possibilities for employees. These preventive programs help to reduce work-related musculoskeletal diseases and the other health problems to prevent occupational diseases and disabilities;

2. To find new forms to promote physical activity at workplaces and to choose effective,
evidence-based measures that are recognized and recommended  by international and national organisations;

3. Let's not forget anyone! It means that introducing physical activity the workplace  it is important to take into account each employee's  needs and "not to forget" the employees who have the specific mobility needs of their age restrictions or the nature of work (standing, sitting, physically active, etc.);

4. To effectively promote physical activity at workplaces, it is necessary to work with the competent specialists of the activity: ergonomics specialists, physiotherapist,  occupational safety and health services specialists;

5. To expand cooperation and to develop the potential of the Public Health Bureaus of municipalities through deepening the competence of these specialists, providing methodical assistance and involving this into health promotion programs of enterprises.

 

The Finnish project „Co-operation and competence network for promoting occupational health, safety and well-being at work“) (2015–2018)

The aim of the project is to share the experience / to learn how to apply the networking principle to health and well-being of employees; also to discuss the challenges of employees health and well-being at different ages; and to seek for the solutions together taking into account the good Finnish experience. During the project, four events are planned to take place in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Subsequently, representatives of these countries are expected to present their experiences and tailor-made measures at a joint meeting.

An introductory workshop-discussion "Health and well-being at work at all ages" was held in Vilnius in December, 2017. It was organised by the Institute of Hygiene in cooperation with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

The event brought together nearly 50 representatives from business and public enterprises and institutions, universities, and non-governmental organisations. The theoretical material on how to improve health and well-being of employees of all age groups, as well as networking and network operation principles were presented at the event. During the discussions the participants noted that one of the most important challenges faced by enterprises is the lack of a positive attitude of the employer towards different age employees and the creation of a better working environment and an individual approach to workers of different age. They also missed opportunities for lifelong learning.

The raised issues are planned to be further discussed in the next meetings to be arranged in spring 2018.

For more detailed information about the said project contact: Sigita Vičaitė, sigita.vicaite@hi.lt.

 

How to reduce the risk of heat exposure to outdoor and indoor workers

Due to the warming up of the climate, in the last five decades, the average air temperature in Lithuania has increased by 0.7-1.0°C. Lithuania is in the area of moisture excess because of many rivers, lakes, it often rains here. Therefore, the probability of a damaging heat is much higher than that of dry climates. Due to the above mentioned reasons, the Lithuanian population is not sufficiently adapted to the heat of the external environment. The heat in the workplace is a poorly accentuated, but vital risk factor for health.

The specialists of the Institute of Hygiene prepared the methodological recommendations that present the effects of heat as a risk factor on workers' health and measures to prevent heat-exposure, taking into account the nature of the workplace, i.e. when working outdoors or indoors. The recommendations provide information on how to recognise heat-related health disorders in time and how to provide the proper first-aid.

The recommendations are designed for occupational health specialists, occupational safety and health professionals, employers and employees.

For more information contact: Greta Rozenaite, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Innovations, phone no. (370 5) 212 0861, e-mail: greta.rozenaite@hi.lt

 

Other activities of the Occupational Health Centre:

Winners of the competition „Health promoting enterprise 2016“awarded at the international conference in Vilnius, 2016-11-17

Workplace Stress Management Standards