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1.  Fall prevention and safety communication training for foremen:Report of a pilot project designed to improve residential construction safety 
Journal of safety research  2012;44:111-118.
Falls from heights account for 64% of residential construction worker fatalities and 20% of missed work days. We hypothesized that worker safety would improve with foremen training in fall prevention and safety communication.
Training priorities identified through foreman and apprentice focus groups and surveys were integrated into an 8-hour training. We piloted the training with ten foremen employed by a residential builder. Carpenter trainers contrasted proper methods to protect workers from falls with methods observed at the foremen’s worksites. Trainers presented methods to deliver toolbox talks and safety messages. Results from worksite observational audits (n=29) and foremen/crewmember surveys (n=97) administered before and after training were compared.
We found that inexperienced workers are exposed to many fall hazards that they are often not prepared to negotiate. Fall protection is used inconsistently and worksite mentorship is often inadequate. Foremen feel pressured to meet productivity demands and some are unsure of the fall protection requirements. After the training, the frequency of daily mentoring and toolbox talks increased, and these talks became more interactive and focused on hazardous daily work tasks. Foremen observed their worksites for fall hazards more often. We observed increased compliance with fall protection and decreased unsafe behaviors during worksite audits.
Designing the training to meet both foremen’s and crewmembers’ needs ensured the training was learner-centered and contextually-relevant. This pilot suggests that training residential foremen can increase use of fall protection, improve safety behaviors, and enhance on-the-job training and safety communication at their worksites.
Impact on Industry
Construction workers’ training should target safety communication and mentoring skills with workers who will lead work crews. Interventions at multiple levels are necessary to increase safety compliance in residential construction and decrease falls from heights.
PMCID: PMC3610407  PMID: 23398712
Falls; construction industry; residential construction; carpenter; training; education
2.  Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders in workers: classification and health surveillance – statements of the Scientific Committee on Musculoskeletal Disorders of the International Commission on Occupational Health 
The underlying purpose of this commentary and position paper is to achieve evidence-based recommendations on prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Such prevention can take different forms (primary, secondary and tertiary), occur at different levels (i.e. in a clinical setting, at the workplace, at national level) and involve several types of activities. Members of the Scientific Committee (SC) on MSDs of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) and other interested scientists and members of the public recently discussed the scientific and clinical future of prevention of (work-related) MSDs during five round-table sessions at two ICOH conferences (in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2009, and in Angers, France, in 2010). Approximately 50 researchers participated in each of the sessions. More specifically, the sessions aimed to discuss new developments since 1996 in measures and classification systems used both in research and in practice, and agree on future needs in the field.
The discussion focused on three questions: At what degree of severity does musculoskeletal ill health, and do health problems related to MSDs, in an individual worker or in a group of workers justify preventive action in occupational health? What reliable and valid instruments do we have in research to distinguish ‘normal musculoskeletal symptoms’ from ‘serious musculoskeletal symptoms’ in workers? What measures or classification system of musculoskeletal health will we need in the near future to address musculoskeletal health and related work ability?
Four new, agreed-upon statements were extrapolated from the discussions: 1. Musculoskeletal discomfort that is at risk of worsening with work activities, and that affects work ability or quality of life, needs to be identified. 2. We need to know our options of actions before identifying workers at risk (providing evidence-based medicine and applying the principle of best practice). 3. Classification systems and measures must include aspects such as the severity, frequency, and intensity of pain, as well as measures of impairment of functioning, which can help in prevention, treatment and prognosis. 4. We need to be aware of economic and/or socio-cultural consequences of classification systems and measures.
PMCID: PMC3437218  PMID: 22721454
Occupation; Epidemiology; Prevention; Aetiology; Expert opinion; Occupational health; Public health; Rheumatology; Rehabilitation; Orthopaedics
3.  Sensitivity and Specificity of the Finger Tapping Task for the Detection of Psychogenic Movement Disorders 
Parkinsonism & related disorders  2009;16(3):197-201.
Psychogenic movement disorders (PMD) represent a diagnostically challenging group of patients in movement disorders. Finger tapping tests (FTT) have been used in neuropsychiatric evaluations to identify psychogenic conditions, but their use in movement disorders has been limited to the quantification of upper extremity disability in idiopathic Parkinson disease (IPD). We evaluated the ability of the FTT to objectively identify PMD by screening 195 individuals from a movement disorder clinic with IPD, dystonia, essential tremor, or PMD and compared them to 130 normal adults. All subjects performed six-30 second trials using alternate hands. We compared mean FTT score and the coefficient of variation between diagnostic groups. FTT scores in IPD were inversely correlated with Hoehn and Yahr stage (p < .001) and the United Parkinson Disease Rating Scale III (motor) subscale (p < .001). FTT scores were significantly lower in PMD (mean = 41.72) when compared to the other diagnostic groups after controlling for age. The coefficient of variation was not significantly different between diagnostic groups. ROC analysis identified a cutoff FTT ratio of 0.670 or less was 89.1% specific and 76.9% sensitive for the diagnosis of PMD. We conclude the FTT can provide supportive evidence for the diagnosis of PMD.
PMCID: PMC2829355  PMID: 20005766
psychogenic movement disorders; finger tapping; idiopathic Parkinson disease; essential tremor; dystopia

Results 1-3 (3)