The SAVE project, a three arm randomized-controlled study, utilized evidence-based health and safety training to teach brick masonry apprentices ergonomics, problem solving, and communication skills to reduce occupational musculoskeletal injury risk. Apprentices enrolled in the SAVE study were assigned at random to one of three groups receiving: 1) ergonomics training, 2) ergonomics and safety voice training, or 3) a control group receiving no training intervention outside of the industry standard training. The text messaging evaluation included 53 brick masonry apprentices recruited from five training centers. Apprentices not included in this evaluation were those in the control group (they did not receive SAVE training nor texts) and apprentices without internet access or a usable cell phone.
Text message refresher training was sent to enrolled apprentices consisting of 1) ergonomics only or 2) combined ergonomics and safety voice content. Some of the texts did not require a response and simply reinforced SAVE content. A portion of the texts evaluated behavior change and knowledge retention of ergonomics and/or safety voice topics, and required apprentice response of yes/no or true/false (evaluation texts). Correct responses for questions measuring behavior change required the apprentice to demonstrate the use of ergonomic solutions, while correct responses for knowledge retention required apprentices to demonstrate retention of the training intervention materials. The correct response rate was measured by the number of correct responses divided by the total number of apprentice responses. The apprentice response rate was measured by the number of apprentice responses divided by the number of evaluation texts sent to apprentices. All response data was collected using an online text messaging service (Slicktext.com) and all data was analyzed using Microsoft Excel.
Data was collected during one-month. Apprentices enrolled in the ergonomics-only group received five evaluation texts per apprentice. Apprentices enrolled in the combined ergonomics and safety voice group received nine evaluation texts. Apprentices receiving the combined ergonomics and safety voice reported a response rate of 59.8 percent with 83.3 percent correct. Apprentices receiving only the ergonomics had a response rate of 66.7 percent with 77.1 percent correct. Response rates declined over the month, however when the apprentices did respond, they were mostly correct.
Funding Statement (additional comments about funding)
This study was supported by Grant # U60 OH009762-06 funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health/ The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). The research team would like to thank the CPWR Masonry R2P partnership and the apprentices at the Portland and Minneapolis training centers. We would like to specifically thank Dave Wysocki, Dave Narsktek, Shawn Lenczowski and Joe Vanek.
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