Croissant curling

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.

Task description

  • 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.

Croissant curling video - 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.

Whiskey box gluing scores elaborated Arm movements Repetition Force Head / neck posture Back posture Arm posture Wrist posture Hand / finger grip Breaks Work pace Other factors Task score Duration multiplier Exposure score

A1. Arm movements

There is almost continuous movement of the arms.

A2. Repetition

About 50 - 60 croissants are curled per minute, each one requiring a similar pattern of motion.

B. Force

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.

D1. Breaks

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.

Task score

The task score, calculated for each arm separately, is the sum of the scores of all the risk factors.

For example:

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.

Exposure score

The exposure score, calculated for each arm separately, is found by multiplying the task score by the duration multiplier.

For example:

27 x 1 = 27

The exposure score can be interpreted using the table of exposure levels.

Possible solutions to consider

Improve posture

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.

Reduce exposure

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).

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Updated: 2023-11-15