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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


FERNANDES, Rita de Cássia Pereira; ASSUNCAO, Ada Ávila  and  CARVALHO, Fernando Martins. Repetitive tasks under time pressure: the musculoskeletal disorders and the industrial work. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2010, vol.15, n.3, pp.931-942. ISSN 1678-4561.

An ergonomic study was carried out to characterize repetitive work and psychosocial demands at work in a plastic industry in The Greater Salvador, State of Bahia, Brazil. Global observations of tasks were preliminary carried out to investigate work organization, production organization and tasks determinants. Time requirements in tasks development involved psychosocial demands and physical demands, particularly when the latter implied very fast repetitive work. Secondly, those findings led to systematic observations with simultaneous interviews of workers. Work cycles in each task of molding/finishing plastic bags were measured by video analysis. All disturbances that required worker regulation on tasks development were recorded. This study allowed identifying variabilities of work process and of tasks development, and to put into evidence the extra demands and changeable tasks processes that require workers' regulation. In that situation, higher cognitive and physical demands are resulted from time pressure. The inadequate work conditions associated to time pressure and a work organization with low control generate a situation in which the task development is just possible under workers' body overload.

Keywords : Repetitive strain injuries; RSI; Musculoskeletal disorders; Ergonomics; Work organization; Psychosocial factors.

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