Methods for ergonomic risk assessment: a comparison study

Raffaele d'Angelo, Gabriella Duca, Ernest Russo, Guglielmo Trupiano

Abstract


Ergonomic risk assessment in work activities is generally conducted using systematic observation methods. Such methods are very popular among safety professional as they are easier to use, less expensive and more flexible than direct measures, so that they are considered as most suitable to field data gathering.

Many research institutes and public authorities operating in the field of workers health and safety protection deliver and update their own methods for ergonomic risk assessment, so that the selection and correct application of such methods requires high skilled professionals in order to ensure evaluation results that reflect the specific working context under assessment.

This paper is aimed at discussing first results of the a comparison study of 25 methods for ergonomic risk assessment from technical and scientific literature, that have been analysed in order to understand their sensitivity in relation to the possible relevant variables in task execution.

This analysis is part of AERMES App for Ergonomic Risk MEthods Selection project, a project carried out by ContARP Campania and Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca “R. d’Ambrosio” LUPT established at Università Federico II di Napoli. AERMES project will bring to professionals main methods for risk assessment in the field of manual handling and repetitive movements that are well acknowledged by international technical and scientific context but are rarely applied in the Italian context. AERMES project will provide professionals with a guide to select the risk assessment method most fitting the job and job context they have to investigate. As consequence, professionals will improve their capability to detect situations that increase the probability of musculoskeletal disease occurrence in labour intensive and not standardised jobs and will be supported in defining technical and organizational improvements to reduce workers exposure to musculoskeletal disease risk.


Keywords


Musculoskeletal disorders, observation, risk factors, work environment, assessment reliability

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