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Work routinization and implications for ergonomic exposure assessment.

Authors
Gold-JE; Park-J-S; Punnett-L
Source
Ergonomics 2006 Jan; 49(1):12-27
NIOSHTIC No.
20029732
Abstract
Jobs in many modern settings, including manufacturing, service, agriculture and construction, are variable in their content and timing. This prompts the need for exposure assessment methods that do not assume regular work cycles. A scheme is presented for classifying levels of routinization to inform development of an appropriate exposure assessment strategy for a given occupational setting. Five levels of routinization have been defined based on the tasks of which the job is composed: 1) a single scheduled task with a regular work cycle; 2) multiple cyclical tasks; 3) a mix of cyclical and non-cyclical tasks; 4) one non-cyclical task; 5) multiple non-cyclical tasks. This classification, based primarily on job observation, is illustrated through data from a study of automobile manufacturing workers (n = 1200), from which self-assessed exposures to physical and psychosocial stressors were also obtained. In this cohort, decision latitude was greater with higher routinization level (p < 0.0001), and the least routinized jobs showed the lowest self-reported exposure to physical ergonomic stressors. The job analysis checklist developed for non-routinized jobs is presented, and limitations of the task analysis method utilized in the study are discussed. A work sampling approach to job analysis is recommended as the most efficient way to obtain a comparable unbiased exposure estimate across all routinization levels.
Keywords
Exposure-assessment; Ergonomics; Occupational-exposure; Workplace-studies; Workplace-monitoring; Risk-analysis; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Humans
CODEN
ERGOAX
Publication Date
20060115
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Judith.Gold@temple.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2006
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-003514
Issue of Publication
1
ISSN
0014-0139
Source Name
Ergonomics
State
MA
Performing Organization
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
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