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Physical load in cleaning work: a review of strenuous work tasks
University of Gävle, Centre of Musculoskeletal Research.
IVL Swedish Environmental Reseach Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
National Institute for Working Life.
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2008 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

An action program with the aim to reduce work injuries and disorders among Swedish cleaners is presently carried out. Several sub-projects are accomplished within the project frame. In this paper, findings in several sub-projects regarding physical work load in cleaning work are summarized. Main data collection methods have been VIDAR-filming, interviews and questionnaires. Supplementary EMG measurements, biomechanical analysis with computer models and systematic observations with the OWAS method have also been performed. In total 61 cleaners have been studied in different ways encompassing all major types of cleaning work. The results show very few single tasks exhibit loads that from a strict biomechanical standpoint are injurious when performed a few times while repetitive monotonous tasks and awkward body postures are very frequent. Common repetitive tasks seen in most types of cleaning are mopping and dusting/wiping of various surfaces, often in awkward postures. Other common strenuous tasks are making beds in hotels, trains and cruise ships, handling of waste baskets and bags, cleaning of toilets and bathrooms and cleaning of stairs. The loads in some of these tasks are unnecessarily high due to the use of obsolete equipment and methods. Organizational issues are also important factors determining the total load on cleaners. Thorough cleaning campaigns on top of daily routines and gradual downsizing of staff with unchanged duties are examples of such issues. Obstacles caused by architecture, interior design and choice of furniture are also causing strenuous tasks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Research subject
Industrial Work Environment; Industrial Design
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-30964Local ID: 4fe534c0-a1a5-11dd-8f4e-000ea68e967bOAI: diva2:1004193
Annual Conference of the Nordic Ergonomics Society : 11/08/2008 - 13/08/2008
Godkänd; 2008; 20081024 (ruku)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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Kumar, RupeshÖhrling, Therese
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