Project Overview

Lost productivity from lower back injuries in workplaces costs over $100 billions a year in the United States alone. A significant fraction of such workplace injuries are the result of workers not following best practices. Previous studies have shown that a multifaceted approach should be used to improve the situation. Hence, in this project, we are integrating body mechanics training and a technology-based real-time compliance tracking and intervention solution to reduce workplace injuries. The goals of the project include:

  1. Develop an innovative real time monitoring system with haptic feedback to help Jennings Care Partners to recognize correct and incorrect postures and movements while performing tasks related to care of residents;
  2. Utilize a program evaluation/ mixed methods research design to recommend improvements in the facility’s existing patient handling program;
  3. Design and implement a pilot safe resident movement program that integrates the new monitoring system and recommended program improvements into the facility’s current policies and procedures; 
  4. Study the effectiveness of the above interventions from the perspective of all stakeholders.

Technology-Based Real-Time Compliance Tracking and Intervention System

In this project, we developed a novel computer-vision based system to track the activities of consented workers using the depth sensors, alert them on detection of non-compliant activities, and produce cumulative reports on their performance. Essentially, the system provides a valuable set of services for both workers and administrators towards a healthier, and therefore, more productive workplace..

Ergonomics and Body Mechanics Training and Education

According to several comprehensive surveys on the intervention programs, training on body mechanisms itself has either no effect on reducing the injury rate of nurses and nursing assistants, or only short-term effect. Previous studies show that the assessment process in competency training typically lacks consistency and is uncertain. We have created educational modules to help train STNAs and adapted our compliance tracking system for competence training.

Principal Investigators

Cleveland State University

Person 1

Glenn Goodman

School of Health Sciences

Person 2

Debbie Espy

School of Health Sciences

Person 3

Ann Reinthal

School of Health Sciences

Person 4

Beth Ekelman

School of Health Sciences

Person 5

Joan Niederriter

School of Nursing

Person 6

Wenbing Zhao

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

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Our External Partner: Jennings Center for Older Adults