Inter-rater reliability of an observation-based ergonomics assessment checklist for office workers
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Objectives: To establish the inter-rater reliability of an observation-based ergonomics assessment checklist for computer workers. Methods: A 37-item (38-item if a laptop was part of the workstation) comprehensive observational ergonomics assessment checklist comparable to government guidelines and up to date with empirical evidence was developed. Two trained practitioners assessed full-time office workers performing their usual computer-based work and evaluated the suitability of workstations used. Practitioners assessed each participant consecutively. The order of assessors was randomised, and the second assessor was blinded to the findings of the first. Unadjusted kappa coefficients between the raters were obtained for the overall checklist and subsections that were formed from question-items relevant to specific workstation equipment. Results: Twenty-seven office workers were recruited. The inter-rater reliability between two trained practitioners achieved moderate to good reliability for all except one checklist component. Conclusions: This checklist has mostly moderate to good reliability between two trained practitioners. Practitioner Summary: This reliable ergonomics assessment checklist for computer workers was designed using accessible government guidelines and supplemented with up-to-date evidence. Employers in Queensland (Australia) can fulfil legislative requirements by using this reliable checklist to identify and subsequently address potential risk factors for work-related injury to provide a safe working environment.
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