Mechanical exposure among general practice dentists in Sweden and possible implications of rationalization. Ergonomics
Journal article, 2011
The present study investigates the dental work in terms of time distribution and mechanical exposure in value-adding work (VAW) and non-VAW. Further rationalisation of dental work would typically involve an increase in the proportion of VAW. Information on mechanical exposure within the classes of VAW and non-VAW may be used to predict possible implications of rationalisation. Sixteen dentists were investigated. Using a data logger, postures and movements were continuously recorded for each subject during the 4 h of work, which included the 45 min of video recording. Time distribution and mechanical exposure for the six different work activities identified were evaluated from the video recordings, using a loss analysis technique. VAW, which comprised 54% of the total working time, generally implied significantly more constrained mechanical exposures as compared with non-VAW. The results suggest that future rationalisation of dental work, involving a reduction of non-VAW, may increase the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.
Statement of Relevance: The present study illustrates the potential effects of rationalisation on biomechanical exposures for dentists. The results highlight the significance of integrating ergonomic issues into the rationalisation process in dentistry in addition to ordinary workstation and tool design improvements performed by ergonomists.