Injuries to the upper extremity are common among workers, accounting for about 30 per cent of lost-time claims in Ontario in 2006. The upper extremity includes the neck, shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand.
This systematic review looked at the effectiveness of interventions to prevent upper extremity disorders and traumatic injuries.
Reviewers found moderate evidence that arm supports were beneficial in protecting upper extremity health. They also found that several interventions did not work. There was strong evidence that workstation adjustments were not effective if they were done alone — but the combination of adjustments and ergonomic training did seem to convey a benefit. There was also moderate evidence that biofeedback training and job stress management training had no effect on protecting upper extremity health.
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Summary: Do workplace programs protect upper extremity musculoskeletal health? (155 KB)
Full report: Systematic review of the role of occupational health and safety interventions in the prevention of upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms, signs, disorders, injuries, claims and lost time (1.84 MB)