Assessment of physical workload
Each work performed is associated with the biological burden on the human body. The physical workload is, right after the mental load, one of the two elements that make up the overall workload of an employee. Energy expenditure is the amount of heat energy produced by the body during the performance of a work activity. It is one of the basic elements determining the severity of physical work at workstations.
Exercise is defined as the work of skeletal muscles along with the entire ensemble of accompanying functional changes in the body. However, in any physical work there is a certain psychological burden associated with the involvement of thought processes and the central nervous system.
The physical load analysis consists of the verification of the degree of dynamic and static load. Dynamic load is associated with motor activity, while static load with long-term muscle tension – e.g., when taking a long, forced body position. In general, physical load is defined as energy expenditure expressed in kcal or kJ.
What is the impact of physical workload on human health?
Physical fatigue reduces the effectiveness and efficiency of an employee. In addition, it increases the risk of accidents at work.
The basic symptoms of fatigue include exhaustion of the body, sweating, deterioration of hand-eye coordination, and disturbance in concentration.
Extreme fatigue with manual work may pose a serious threat to the health and even life of an employee.
ENVILAB-EKO research methodology.
The ENVILAB-EKO laboratory conducts estimations of physical workload using the tabular method of G. Lehmann. This method is based on estimating the energy expenditure for individual activities performed by an employee.
The first step of the method is the evaluation of the static load, while the second step is the evaluation of the dynamic load. The energy expenditure is the sum of the expenditure from both estimated stages.
Our laboratory conducts physical workload tests in Wroclaw and, upon request, in other Polish cities.
Standards and legal provisions specifying how the assessments of physical workload are to be conducted:
The basis for the estimation of physical workload conducted by the ENVILAB-EKO laboratory are legal provisions:
- Regulation of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy of March 14, 2000, on occupational health and safety in manual transport work. Journal of Laws of 2000, No. 26, item 313; Journal of Laws of 2000, No. 82, item 930; Journal of Laws of 2009, No. 56, item 462.
- Regulation of the Council of Ministers of August 24, 2004, on the list of works forbidden to adolescents and the conditions of their employment in some of these works. Journal of Laws No. 200, item 2047; Journal of Laws of 2005, No. 136, item 1145; Journal of Laws of 2006, No. 107, item 724.
- PN-EN 1005-5:2007 Safety of machinery – Human physical performance – Part 5: Risk assessment for activities performed with high repetition frequency (orig.). Introduces: EN 1005-5:2007.
- PN-EN 1005-4+A1:2009 Safety of machinery – Human physical capabilities – Part 4: Assessment of the working position and movements in relation to the machine (orig.). Introduces: EN 1005-4:2005+A1:2008.
- PN-EN 1005-3+A1:2009 Safety of machinery – Human physical abilities – Part 3: Recommended force limits for machine operation (orig.). Introduces: EN 1005-3:2002+A1:2008.
- PN-EN 1005-2+A1:2010 Safety of machinery – Human physical capabilities – Part 2: Manual handling of machines and their parts. Introduces: EN 1005-2:2003+A1:2008.
- Regulation of the Council of Ministers of May 28, 1996, on preventive meals and drinks.
- Regulation of the Council of Ministers of September 10, 1996, on the list of works that are particularly burdensome or harmful to women’s health. Journal of Laws 114, item 545, of 2002 No. 127, item 1092.
- Regulation of the Council of Ministers of August 24, 2004, on the list of works forbidden to young people and the conditions of employing them for certain works.
- Act of December 19, 2008, on bridging pensions.