Workload assessment and its influence on a male tile layers working ability
¹Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu, 5 Jakobi Street 51014 Tartu, Estonia, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
²Institute of Technology, Estonian University of Life Sciences, 56 Kreutswaldi Street 51014 Tartu, Estonia, e-mail: email@example.com
The aim of this study was to evaluate tile layers workload at a construction site and its influence to their working ability. The subjects (n = 8) were male tile layers (mean ± SE) age of 36 ± 3.6 years. First the subjects completed a questionnaire and thereafter they performed before and after the working day a test of tile setting on a special wall, where was 3 stages and every stage they must set correctly 14 tiles. In the course of test the electromyographical (EMG) power spectral median frequency (MF) of biceps brachii, trapezius, deltoideus and erector spinae muscles was measured (both sides). The results of questionnaire indicate that the tile layer’s most burdened parts of the body were knees, lower back and upper back. Workers complained most about tiredness, skin irritations, dyscomfort in eyes, knee, leg, lower back and neck/shoulder pain. It is important emphasis that all tile layers were taking tiles from a left side. Objectively estimated muscle fatigue emerged before and after the working day when comparing EMG power spectral MF measured at the beginning and end of the tile setting test. The results indicated that the most burdened muscle was right erector spinae for all 3 stages. In case of physical work, it is advisable to make short breaks every hour, so as to avoid the problems caused by overload. The results of this study can be used by specialists of ergonomics and production managers.