Impact of Physical Load on Workability of Social Caregivers

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Zenija RojaValdis KalkisHenrijs KalkisInara RojaJanis Dundurs

Abstract: The contemporary changing labour market has promoted health problems caused by ergonomic load at work. In Latvia, similarly to other places in the world, within the recent 10 years number of work related muscular sceletal disorders (WRMSD) in the structure of occupational diseases has grown rapidly, and according to data from the State Labour Inspection, in 2012 these diseases comprised 60% of the total number of primary cases of occupational diseases. Employees in Latvia report about high physical workload and rapidly increasing psychoemotional strain at the workplaces. In the branch of social care WRMSD are extremely significant for younger and elderly employees. A social caregiver’s duty requires frequent manual lifting and awkward postures that makes severe burden for the waist. Low back pain is prevalent in care staffs with long-term experience. Increasing number of the elderly and severe disability of workers in social care intensifies the work load. Aim of the study is to investigate the effect of the physical load on adult and children caregivers’ workability, to work out preventive measures for reduction of ergonomic load and improvement of workability. The several tools to describe and assess physical load using subjective and experimental (objective) methods were used. Chosen tools and technique are: KIM  key item method (assessment of the manual handling of heavy loads), HRM heart rate monitoring (assessment of work heaviness degree depending on workers physical activity), RPE  the rating of perceived exertion, NIOSH lifting equation, and WAI  workability index (assessment employees’ existing work capacity and forecast for the near future). It was stated that accordingly to results of HRM data (energy consumption) work hardness categories varies from category II (moderate work) for children caregivers to category III (hard work) for adult caregivers. It coincides with the subjective risk assessment methods. It was concluded that physical workload insignificantly impact workability of social caregivers

Keywords: Workload, Caregivers, Risk Assessment, Heart Rate, Lifting Index

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe100083

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