Full-shift trunk and upper arm postures and movements among aircraft baggage handlers
2016 (English)In: Annals of Occupational Hygiene, ISSN 0003-4878, E-ISSN 1475-3162, Vol. 60, no 8, 977-990 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objectives: The present study assessed full shift trunk and upper arm postural exposure amplitudes, frequencies, and durations among Swedish airport baggage handlers, and aimed to determine whether exposures differ between workers at the ramp (loading and unloading aircraft) and baggage sorting areas.
Methods: Trunk and upper arm postures were measured using inclinometers during three full work shifts on each of 27, male baggage handlers working at a large Swedish airport. Sixteen of the baggage handlers worked on the ramp and 11 in the sorting area. Variables summarizing postures and movements were calculated, and mean values and variance components between subjects and within subject (between days) were estimated using restricted maximum likelihood algorithms in a one-way random effect model.
Results: In total, data from 79 full shifts (651 hours) were collected with a mean recording time of 495 minutes per shift (range 319-632). On average, baggage handlers worked with the right and left arm elevated >60° for 6.4% and 6.3% of the total workday, respectively. The 90th percentile trunk forward projection (FP) was 34.1° and the 50th percentile trunk movement velocity was 8°s-1. For most trunk (FP) and upper arm exposure variables, between-subject variability was considerable, suggesting that the flight baggage handlers were not a homogeneously exposed group. A notable between-days variability pointed to the contents of the job differing on different days. Peak exposures (>90°) were higher for ramp workers than for sorting area workers (trunk 0.6% ramp vs 0.3% sorting; right arm 1.3% ramp vs 0.7% sorting).
Conclusions: Trunk and upper arm postures and movements among flight baggage handlers measured by inclinometry were similar to those found in other jobs comprising manual material handling, known to be associated with increased risks for musculoskeletal disorders. The results showed that full-shift trunk (FP), and to some extent peak arm exposures, were higher for ramp workers compared to sorting workers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 60, no 8, 977-990 p.
baggage handling, exposure variability; ergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders, epidemiology
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-20430DOI: 10.1093/annhyg/mew043ISI: 000386017300007PubMedID: 27417186ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84990985854OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-20430DiVA: diva2:861354
FunderAFA Insurance, 100071Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2009-1761