Psychosocial work factors and musculoskeletal pain among Swedish flight baggage handlers
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the 19th Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Melbourne, 9-14 August 2015 / [ed] Gitte Lindgaard & Dave Moore, 2015Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Flight baggage handlers are employed by handling companies engaged in sorting, loading and unloading luggage, cargo and mail, so called ramp service work. After check-in, luggage are transported through a sorting area and further out to the ramp. This transportation involves manual handling by baggage handlers at several stages, using conveyor belts, carts and trucks for transport. In addition to these tasks, baggage handlers are also engaged in communicating with air traffic controllers directing air traffic on the ground, towing aircrafts to gates and serving them with auxiliary power units, brakes and light. Baggage handling services are similar in all larger airports, and so baggage handlers perform similar tasks all over the world. In Sweden the handlers’ union claimed a high prevalence of low back and shoulder pain and a dissatisfying psychosocial work environment, but systematically collected empirical data were not available, and the literature was surprisingly sparse, considering that the occupation is global. Thus, a comprehensive project initiated by the Vocational Training and Working Environment Council, TYA, in Sweden - a council formed by employers’ and employees’ organizations in the transportation sector -was conducted at 14 handling companies in six Swedish airports between 2010 and 2012. The project aimed to document the physical and psychosocial work environment and to contribute to the development of ergonomic interventions within this occupation, which could, eventually, lead to better health among the employees. The present study was part of this project, in aiming at documenting psychosocial exposures and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the flight baggage handler population, and at determining possible associations between exposures and disorders.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
flight baggage handlers, manual handling, psychosocial work environment, physical work environment, ergonomic intervention
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-20118OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-20118DiVA: diva2:846832
19th Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, 9-14 August 2015, Melbourne, Australia