Date of Award

2004

Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology

Department

Department of Psychology

Abstract

This study, an extension of research reported by Cameron (1997), examines the effectiveness of a demonstration in training clerical workers in office ergonomics principles. The effectiveness was evaluated based on 4 factors: (1) reaction to training; (2) ergonomic knowledge; (3) work-related body-part discomfort (WBPD); and (4) directly observed workstation modifications. Office personnel at the University were trained in office ergonomics with Cameron’s PC-3-D-ME instructional materials. PC-3- D-ME is an instructional approach that addresses both intrinsic factors (work technique) and extrinsic factors (workstation adjustment). Half of the participants received Cameron’s PC-3-D-ME training literature in the form of a booklet. The other half received this literature and a demonstration. This study serves as an independent replication of Cameron’s study. Despite a small sample size (N = 38), the use of less powerful, non-parametric tests, and only a six week period between pre- and post-instruction data collection, results of the current study revealed that both groups of participants reacted positively to the training, displayed a significant increase in ergonomic knowledge, made a significant number of modifications to their workstations, and experienced significant decreases in discomfort severity, hifrequency, and duration in the back of the neck. Furthermore, participants in the literature-demonstration group made significantly more modifications to their workstations and experienced decreased discomfort of a greater magnitude than participants in the literature only group. This evidence indicates that while benefits can be seen after administration of office ergonomics training via literature alone, adding a demonstration that incorporates more sensory modalities and gives participants the opportunity to observe a model, practice, and ask and answer questions could lead to a greater number of workstation modifications and ultimately a greater reduction in the number of injuries experienced by training participants. Therefore, although providing a demonstration as part of office ergonomics training requires employers to make an additional investment, the return on investment can be seen in a greater reduction in the severity, frequency, and duration of injuries.

Keywords

Human engineering, Work environment, Employees Training of

Rights Statement

Copyright 2004, author

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