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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15051003

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

1
ERCOS Group (Pole), Laboratory of ELLIADD-EA4661, UTBM-University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, 90010 Belfort, France
2
University of Angers, CHU Angers, University Rennes, Inserm, Ehesp, Irset (Research Institute for Environmental and Occupational Health), UMR_S 1085, F-49000 Angers, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
Full-Text   |   PDF [314 KB, uploaded 17 May 2018]

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: variability of exposure; execution of the repeated tasks; musculoskeletal disorders; manufacturing industry variability of exposure; execution of the repeated tasks; musculoskeletal disorders; manufacturing industry
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 (CC BY 4.0).
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Zare, M.; Sagot, J.-C.; Roquelaure, Y. Within and between Individual Variability of Exposure to Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorder Risk Factors. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1003.

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