Additional factors

D1. Breaks

Determine the maximum amount of time that workers perform the repetitive task without a break. This information should have been recorded on the task description form and drawing a timeline can sometimes help.

Breaks are significant changes or pauses in arm or hand activity (eg of at least 5 – 10 minutes). They include:

  • Structured breaks, such as meal breaks or other official breaks
  • Pauses in production, such as during a product change over
  • Time spent performing other tasks that do not involve repetitive arm movements (eg a visual inspection task or administration task).

Then select the most appropriate category.

The worker performs the task continuously, without a break, for:

D1. Breaks score table

The score of Green is also appropriate where frequent short breaks are designed into the task (eg there is at least 10 seconds of break every few minutes during the whole work period).

D2. Work pace

Speak to the workers about any difficulties they might have keeping up with the work. Select the most appropriate category.

D2. Work pace score table

If the score is Amber or Red, ask workers for more information about this aspect of the work. When do they find it difficult to keep up? Why do they find it difficult to keep up with the work? How could the task be improved?

This is often a good opportunity to speak to workers about how they perceive other aspects of the work, such as other psychosocial factors (see D5).

D3. Other factors

The following factors are defined as 'other factors', because they may not be relevant to every repetitive task. However, if present, these factors are important to identify, as they can present workers with significant problems. For example:

  • Gloves affect gripping and make the handling task more difficult
  • A tool (eg hammer, pick) is used to strike two or more times per minute
  • The hand is used as a tool (eg hammer) and struck ten or more times per hour
  • The tools, work piece or workstation cause compressions of the skin
  • The tools or work piece cause discomfort or cramping of the hand or fingers
  • The hand / arm is exposed to vibration
  • Task requires fine precise movements of the hand or fingers
  • Operators are exposed to cold or draughts or grip cold tools
  • Lighting levels are inadequate

For 'Other Factors' it is simply a case of counting how many are present and scoring appropriately:

Select the most appropriate category. Assess both the left (L) and the right (R) arm.

D3. Other factors score table

D4. Duration

Determine the amount of time that a worker performs the repetitive task in a typical day or shift (excluding breaks). This information should have been recorded on the task description form.

Then select the most appropriate category.

D4. Duration score table

Where workers do not work a fixed shift, they may not know exactly how long they perform the task in a day. However, they should be able to provide enough information to select a category.

D5. Psychosocial factors

Psychosocial factors are not given a score. However, they should be considered and, if present in the workplace, recorded on the score sheet. Psychosocial factors include things such as:

  • Little control over how the work is done
  • Incentives to skip breaks or finish early
  • Monotonous work
  • High levels of attention and concentration
  • Frequent tight deadlines
  • Lack of support from supervisors or co-workers
  • Excessive work demands
  • Insufficient training to do the job successfully

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Updated: 2021-10-11