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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 121832, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/121832
Research Article

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

School of University Arts and Sciences, Selkirk College, 301 Frank Beinder Way, Castlegar, BC, Canada V1N 4L3

Received 16 April 2013; Revised 26 June 2013; Accepted 1 July 2013

Academic Editor: Jean Blouin

Copyright © 2013 Delia Roberts. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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 =  ). Diets were high in sugar and fat and low in water and many nutrients. Medical Aid and Lost Time claims declined significantly by % (confidence interval −90.0%  %) in resorts that used the educational program whereas four control resorts not using the program experienced increases of % (confidence interval −19.7%  %; F[2,12] = 21.35, ) 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.