This case study shows a worker curling croissants into a crescent and pinching the ends together. Before reading this, it may be useful to read the "try it out" overview if you have not already.
- The worker curls croissants into a crescent and pinches the ends together.
- The worker curls about 50 – 60 croissants per minute.
- Croissants weigh 60g each. There is no indication of any particular force required.
- The shift pattern is 07:00 – 15:30 with one 50 minute break at 09:00 and one 30 minute break at 13:30
- Workers carry out this task daily. They rotate to other similar hand intensive tasks throughout their shift. However, for the purposes of this assessment, assume that workers perform this task for the whole shift.
- Pinching the work piece causes cramping in the right hand and fingers.
- This work is carried out in a cold environment.
A food production line worker, curling croissants.
Before you begin the assessment, watch the video for a few minutes to become familiar with the task and view the task from different angles.
Hover over individual rows for an explanation of each risk score.
A1. Arm movements
There is almost continuous movement of the arms.
About 50 - 60 croissants are curled per minute, each one requiring a similar pattern of motion.
The croissants are very light, and there is no indication that any force is required.
C1. Head / neck posture
For most workers, their head/neck remains in a fairly neutral posture.
Some workers (at the rear) do have to look downwards and have a bent head/neck for more than half the time. This is likely due to differences in reach distance and the height of the workers. For this reason, Red 2 is scored.
C2. Back posture
For all of the workers featured in the video, their backs are in an almost neutral posture with no significant leaning, twisting or stooping.
C3. Arm posture
To reach across the conveyor, the arms are raised away from the body and the elbows are at about chest height for more than half the time.
C4. Wrist posture
Looking at the first part of the video, the right wrist is bent for more than half the time.
The left wrist is deviated for a part of the time when reaching for the croissant.
C5. Hand / finger grip
The right hands uses a pinch grip for more than half the time to press the croissant. The left hand does not grip the croissant firmly or awkwardly.
The longest duration of work without a break occurs between 9.50am and 1.30pm. This is greater than 3 hours and so is scored Red 6.
D2. Work pace
The workers report that they sometimes find it difficult to keep up with the pace of work.
D3. Other factors
The work is carried out in a chilled environment. The worker also reports that pressing the croissant causes cramping in the right hand.
There are two factors present for the right hand , scoring Red 2. There is only the one factor present for the left hand, scoring Amber 1.
The task score, calculated for each arm separately, is the sum of the scores of all the risk factors.
6 + 6 + 0 + 2 + 0 + 4 + 1 + 0 + 6 + 1 + 1 = 27
D4. Duration multiplier
The worker performs the task for about 7 hours per day, so the duration multiplier is 1.
The exposure score, calculated for each arm separately, is found by multiplying the task score by the duration multiplier.
27 x 1 = 27
The exposure score can be interpreted using the table of exposure levels.
Possible solutions to consider
Narrowing the conveyor would reduce the reach to the croissants on the centre of the conveyor.
Raising the conveyor could help reduce bent head/neck postures of taller workers. If this considered, raised working platforms for shorter workers would be needed to enable easier reach to the conveyor.
Provide sit-stand workstations where possible to alleviate fatigue in the lower limbs.
Task rotation to different tasks would reduce an individual's exposure to the risk factors associated with the repetitive movement.
If the additional tasks do not involve similar repetitive arm movements, task rotation would provide an opportunity for recovery and reduce the amount of time that workers perform the task without a break (reducing the score for this risk factor).