Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1991;17(2):110-116    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1729 | Issue date: Apr 1991

Evaluation of the physical work load of bricklayers in the steel industry.

by Malchaire JB, Rezk-Kallah B

A study was made of work conditions suspected of being responsible for a greater prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among 33 bricklayers. A standardized questionnaire was used to confirm a high 12-month prevalence of 73% for the low back and about 20% for the upper limbs. Physical work load was studied with the use of heart rate recordings and posture analyses. According to the heart rate data, the work load was "moderately heavy" (300 W). A diagnostic analysis identified work postures that could be considered as imposing a heavy strain on the musculoskeletal system. The risk associated with these postures was investigated with biomechanical models. This analysis procedure made possible elaborate ergonomic solutions that reduced the work load in general and the biomechanical constraints in particular.