Shared representation of work-related musculoskeletal risk factors and comparison of assessment methods : an experimental study in the truck manufacturing industry

Abstract : Musculoskeletal risk factors such as physical, organizational and psychosocial factors are a common challenge for the automotive assembly industries and result in adverse human and system effects. Ergonomics has already been integrated inthe production systems of such factories to eliminate work related musculoskeletal disorders (WR-MSDs). The issue is whether the current ergonomic approach of car industries, based on corporate standards and observational methods, can provide a shared knowledge of ergonomic factors for various stakeholders and facilitate ergonomic improvement. This study focuses on the positioning of the different assessment methods (used by various stakeholders), agreement between their results in evaluation of physical risk factors and the influence of intervention and improvement following ergonomic assessment. This thesis proposes that the current procedure of risk factor assessment can not provide ashared knowledge and representation of risks between stakeholders in manufacturing industries. It was found that the operators’ assessments of risk factors (self-reported questionnaire) were significantly different from those assessed by observational methods (ergonomist) and direct measurement. However, the operators’ opinions and judgments of ergonomic factors of a job are of particular importance to the success of an ergonomic approach. A structured interview based on objective data (video-observation or direct measurement) linked the activities and strategies of atrisk operators might be an appropriate procedure to advance ergonomics.The knowledge gained from this study emphasizes that the variable nature of tasks in manufacturing industries needs an ergonomic approach which shares knowledge and representation of risks between stakeholders. In such an approach, attitudes and behaviors of operators are taken into consideration in developing new intervention processes, organizational and technical remedies. Moreover, involvement of stakeholders should be integrated and this should result in improving production ergonomics.
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Mohsen Zare Mahmoudabadi. Shared representation of work-related musculoskeletal risk factors and comparison of assessment methods : an experimental study in the truck manufacturing industry. Human health and pathology. Université d'Angers, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015ANGE0075⟩. ⟨tel-02289364⟩

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