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Injury Prevention for Ski-Area Employees: A Physiological Assessment of Lift Operators, Instructors, and Patrollers.

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Injury Prevention for Ski-Area Employees: A Physiological Assessment of Lift Operators, Instructors, and Patrollers.

Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:121832

Authors: Roberts D

Abstract
Background. Momentary lapses in concentration contribute to workplace accidents. Given that blood glucose (BG) and hydration levels have been shown to affect vigilance, this study proposed to investigate these parameters and functional movement patterns of ski-resort workers and to determine whether an educational program to stabilize BG and hydration and encourage joint stability had an effect in decreasing occupational injuries. Methods. Seventy-five instructors, patrollers and, lift-operators at five snowsport resorts were evaluated for BG, vigilance, workload, dietary/hydration practices, and functional-movement patterns. Injury rates were tabulated before and after an educational program for nutrition and functional-movement awareness and compared to other resorts. Results. Workers showed poor stability at the lumbar spine, knee, and shoulder. BG levels were normal but variable (%CV?=?14 ± 6). Diets were high in sugar and fat and low in water and many nutrients. Medical Aid and Lost Time claims declined significantly by 65.1 ± 20.0% (confidence interval -90.0%??? ? -40.2%) in resorts that used the educational program whereas four control resorts not using the program experienced increases of 33.4 ± 42.9% (confidence interval -19.7%??? ? -86.7%; F[2,12]?=?21.35, P < 0.0001 ) over the same season. Conclusion. Provision of snowsport resort workers with educational programs encouraging hydration, diet to stabilize BG, and functional-movement awareness was effective in reducing worksite injuries in this population.

PMID: 23998119 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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