Ergonomics tool from KTH internationally awarded
The KTH-developed tool RAMP has been downloaded in over a hundred countries worldwide. Now the researchers behind the tool are praised by one of the world's most respected journals in the field of ergonomics.
The journal Applied Ergonomics awards the Best Paper Award 2020 to Linda Rose, associate professor at the Division of Ergonomics, and her four co-authors of the article ”The RAMP package for MSD risk management in manual handling – A freely accessible tool, with website and training courses’’.
Congratulations on the award! What does this mean for you and your colleagues?
”The journal is highly regarded, and this award helps to gain increased knowledge and circulation of the RAMP method. Hopefully this will lead to even more companies starting to use the RAMP tool and that fewer people will be injured at work around the world”, says Linda Rose.
RAMP is a tool used to assess risks for personnel to develop musculoskeletal disorders, MSDs, in the workplace. In addition, the tool is also used to systematically support the work of reducing the same risks. Linda Rose and her colleagues have developed the RAMP tool in close collaboration with users in the industry.
The overall goal is to contribute in improving work environments and preventing injuries, primarily in the form of a reduced number of MSDs. MSDs cost Swedish society and companies many millions of kronor every year in the form of sick leave.
Informs about the tool in several countries
The RAMP package includes its own website, where visitors can download RAMP's tool for free, as well as receiving information about three online courses developed to support those who want to use the tool. To date, the tool has been downloaded from over 100 countries worldwide. Linda Rose recently conducted a survey among those who have downloaded the tool in the last two years.
”About half of the respondents claim that they come from low- or middle-income countries. And it is not only specialists who have downloaded the tool - many users have upper secondary education at most. More than 70 percent of those who responded say that the use of RAMP has led to a better working environment and that they see a higher productivity”, she says.
Feedback from users shows that the fact that RAMP is research-based makes users feel an important trust in the tool. The strategy to spread RAMP includes using the Ergonomics division's network, which includes companies and universities around the world. This has even led Linda Rose and her colleagues coming into contact with authorities in several countries and being able to provide information about the method.
Linda Rose and her colleagues have recently received funding for a new project, where they, together with occupational health services, are implementing RAMP on four industrial companies to see what effects it has. At the same time, a research and development project is underway to further develop the tool.
“The RAMP version that is currently available is developed for work with manual handling, where staff pick things, load machines, push and pull. In the coming version, it should also be possible to assess the work where the hand us used a lot, for example among dentists, carpenters and butchers”, says Linda Rose.
Text: Kenneth Carlsson