Within and between Individual Variability of Exposure to Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorder Risk Factors

Abstract : Industrial companies indicate a tendency to eliminate variations in operator strategies, particularly following implementation of the lean principle. Companies believe when the operators perform the same prescribed tasks, they have to execute them in the same manner (completing the same gestures and being exposed to the same risk factors). They attempt to achieve better product quality by standardizing and reducing operational leeway. However, operators adjust and modify ways of performing tasks to balance between their abilities and the requirements of the job. This study aims to investigate the variability of exposure to physical risk factors within and between operators when executing the same prescribed tasks. The Ergonomic Standard method was used to evaluate two workstations. Seven operators were observed thirty times between repeated cycle times at those workstations. The results revealed the variability of exposure to risk factors between and within operators in the repeated execution of the same tasks. Individual characteristics and operators' strategies might generate the variability of exposure to risk factors that may be an opportunity to reduce the risks of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WR-MSDs). However, sometimes operators' strategies may cause overexposure to risk factors; operators most often adopt such strategies to undertake their tasks while reducing the workload.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 5, 2018 - 10:57:52 AM
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Mohsen Zare, Jean-Claude Sagot, Yves Roquelaure. Within and between Individual Variability of Exposure to Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorder Risk Factors. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, MDPI, 2018, 15 (5), pp.1003. ⟨10.3390/ijerph15051003⟩. ⟨hal-01863046⟩

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