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Styckares arbete: knivskarpt om hållbarhet
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7386-0103
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Meat cutting work and sustainability (English)
Abstract [sv]

Styckares arbete är fysiskt ansträngande och kännetecknas av att vara utpräglat manuellt där den handhållna kniven är det viktigaste verktyget. Arbetet innebär enligt arbetsskadestatistiken hög risk för arbetsrelaterade skador och sjukdomar.

Syftet med avhandlingen är att identifiera och utvärdera arbetsmiljöförbättringar som styckningsföretag och anställda styckare i samverkan och under beaktande av systemeffektivitet kan vidta. Ett andra syfte är att ge ett kunskapsbidrag som branschen kan tillämpa i sin framtida arbetsmiljöutveckling.

Avhandlingen baseras på det arbete som genomfördes i två forskningsprojekt (STAR respektive SKARP). Dessa bedrevs som en branschintervention, i en interaktiv ansats och med styrgrupper med deltagare från branschorganisationen Kött- och Charkföretagen samt representanter från styckningsföretag och livsmedelsarbetarnas fackförening.

De studier som ingår i avhandlingen har huvudsakligen genomförts i reell miljö som kvasi-experimentella fallstudier. Styrgrupperna i projekten samt de aktuella företagen deltog i planering och utvärdering av dem.

Resultaten visade att styckningsarbete är så fysiologiskt krävande att många styckare ingående i mätningarna låg över den nivå som rekommenderas för att arbetet skall vara hållbart. Avhandlingen rekommenderar därför att den fysiska arbetsbelastningen på individnivå i styckningsarbete inte ska överstiga 30 Relative Aerobic Strain (RAS), dvs. den andel av sin fysiska förmåga uttryckt i syreupptagning som individen använder i sitt arbete. Vidare visar resultaten att ökad arbetstakt försämrar kvalitet och utbyte samt företagens lönsamhet. En ökad arbetstakt upplevs dessutom negativt av styckarna. Polering av knivarna istället för att slipa dem innebär att kniven kan bli vassare, dess livslängd förlängs och därmed minskar kostnaderna för knivslitage samtidigt som risken för belastningsskador minskar.

För den enskilde individens hållbara anställning i styckningsarbete föreslås flera åtgärder: bl.a. att införa ett system för förbättrad knivskärpa där utbildning och teknik för att hålla knivarna vassa ingår samt att organisera arbetet med en anpassning av teknik, arbetstakt och arbetstyngd som främjar styckarnas hälsa.

Interaktiviteten i projekten resulterade i ökat samarbete om arbetsmiljön mellan styckningsföretagen och med Arbetsmiljöverket. För att arbetsmiljöförbättrande åtgärder ska bli hållbara samt även ge ett bidrag till företagets lönsamhet bör de ske i samverkan med samt engagera de anställda.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. , xvi, 121 p.
Series
TRITA-STH : report, ISSN 1653-3836 ; 2015:7
Keyword [en]
Ergonomics, meat cutting, knife, knife sharpening, polishing, interactive, industry intervention, sustainability, profitability, change, yield, stress, RAS
Keyword [sv]
Ergonomi, styckning, kniv, knivskärpa, polering, interaktiv, branschintervention, hållbarhet, lönsamhet, förändring, utbyte, stress, RAS
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-170363OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-170363DiVA: diva2:828213
Public defence
2015-09-03, Sal 3-221, Alfred Nobels Allé 10, Flemingsberg, 09:30 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20150630

Available from: 2015-06-30 Created: 2015-06-29 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Improving meat cutters' work: Changes and effects following an intervention
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improving meat cutters' work: Changes and effects following an intervention
2013 (English)In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 44, no 6, 996-1003 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Meat cutters face higher risks of injury and musculoskeletal problems than most other occupational groups. The aims of this paper were to describe ergonomics changes implemented in three meat cutting plants and to evaluate effects related to ergonomics on the individual meat cutters and their work. Data was collected by interviews, observations, document studies and a questionnaire (n = 247), as a post intervention study. The changes implemented consisted of reducing knife work to a maximum of 6 h per day and introducing a job rotation scheme with work periods of equal length. Tasks other than traditional meat cutting were added. A competence development plan for each meat cutter and easy adjustment of workplace height were introduced. The questionnaire showed a reduction in perceived physical work load. In general, the changes were perceived positively. Figures from the company showed a positive trend for injuries and sick leave.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
elsevier: , 2013
Keyword
Comparison, Change programme, Consequence, MSD, Work environment
National Category
Medical Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-127025 (URN)10.1016/j.apergo.2013.03.016 (DOI)000324509000018 ()2-s2.0-84882703871 (Scopus ID)
Funder
AFA Insurance
Note

QC 20130828

Available from: 2013-08-27 Created: 2013-08-27 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Maintaining knife sharpness in industrial meat cutting: A matter of knife or meat cutter ability
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Maintaining knife sharpness in industrial meat cutting: A matter of knife or meat cutter ability
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-170362 (URN)
Note

QS 2015

Available from: 2015-06-29 Created: 2015-06-29 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved
3. Increased work pace is unprofitable: A beef-cutting case study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Increased work pace is unprofitable: A beef-cutting case study
2015 (English)In: Meat Science, ISSN 0309-1740, E-ISSN 1873-4138, Vol. 105, 81-88 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The beef industry worldwide is showing a trend towards increased cutting pace aimed at higher profits. However, prior research in the duck meat industry suggested that a higher cutting pace reduced quality and yield, leading to losses. This study aimed to test this hypothesis by investigating the effects of varying beefcutting paces on yield, quality and economy. A field experiment was conducted on six workers cutting beef fillet, sirloin and entrecôte. Three types of paces were sequentially tested: Baseline (i.e., status quo), ‘Quantity focus’ (i.e., pace required to maximise quantity) and ‘Quality focus’ (i.e., pace required to minimise errors). The results showed a significant drop in yield, increased rate of quality deficiency and economic losses with the change to‘Quantity focus’ (from Baseline and ‘Quality focus’) for all meat types. Workers supported these results andalso added health problems to the list. The results confirmed that an increased cutting pace is unprofitable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keyword
quality, productivity, economy, health, satisfaction, beef
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Technology and Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-164054 (URN)10.1016/j.meatsci.2015.03.009 (DOI)000354152600013 ()25828161 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-84925808961 (Scopus ID)
Funder
AFA Insurance, 080014
Note

QC 20150414

Available from: 2015-04-13 Created: 2015-04-13 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
4. On physiological demands and sustainability in meat cutting
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On physiological demands and sustainability in meat cutting
2014 (English)In: Ergonomics, ISSN 0014-0139, E-ISSN 1366-5847, Vol. 58, no 3, 463-479 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Meat cutters' work has been investigated by several researchers. However, knowledge about the physiological demands of meat cutting is almost lacking. The aim of this explorative study was to assess physiological demands in meat cutting, to compare them with International Labour Organization (ILO) recommendations for acceptable workload and to discuss the findings in relation to individual and work-related factors. In accordance with the ILO recommendations, work was categorised as sustainable or non-sustainable based on critical relative aerobic strain (RAS) levels. Twenty-one beef and pork cutters participated in the study, which included workload measurements, assessment of workplace and individual factors. Thirteen meat cutters were categorised as having non-sustainable and eight as having sustainable work. Results suggest that the workload is higher in beef cutting than in pork cutting, and that longer work experience is related to lower RAS. Other factors contributing to the physical workload are discussed.

Practitioner Summary: Meat-cutting work may exceed recommended physical workload levels. Beef cutting is physically more demanding than pork cutting. Furthermore, factors such as years in the profession, knife sharpness, work pace, wage system, working technique, maximum oxygen uptake level and muscular strength should be considered when planning actions regarding the workload for meat cutters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2014
Keyword
RAS; heart rate; workload; MSDs; oxygen consumption
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Research subject
Technology and Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-157145 (URN)10.1080/00140139.2014.975287 (DOI)000349379700010 ()2-s2.0-84922792135 (Scopus ID)
Funder
AFA Insurance
Note

QC 20150114

Available from: 2014-12-08 Created: 2014-12-08 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
5. How do different temperatures affect knife force?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How do different temperatures affect knife force?
2015 (English)In: Ergonomics Open Journal, ISSN 1875-9343, E-ISSN 1875-9343, no 8, 27-31 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Meat cutters have long since claimed that knife forces increase with lower meat temperatures. This study was performed to find out what effects the meat temperature has on cutting forces. In addition, the same issue was addressed for pure fat. One hundred and forty four samples of lean meat and of fat respectively were collected and put overnight inone of three refrigerators with temperatures 2, 7 and 12°C, 48 in each. These samples were cut while measuring cutting forces in an Anago KST Sharpness Analyzer machine. The results show that there were no significant differences in knife forces concerning lean meat at the three temperatures. However, the force in pure fat at 2°C was significantly increased by 30% compared to the other temperatures. The forces in fat were generally three times higher than for lean meat, regardlessof temperature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bentham Open, 2015
Keyword
deboner, fat, meat cutting work, MSD, pork, repetitive work, temperature.
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Food Engineering
Research subject
Technology and Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-164056 (URN)10.2174/1875934301508010027 (DOI)
Funder
AFA Insurance, 080014
Note

QC 20150417

Available from: 2015-04-13 Created: 2015-04-13 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
6. Supervisors in ergonomic change of meat cutting work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supervisors in ergonomic change of meat cutting work
2012 (English)In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 41, no 1, 4850-4855 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Being a supervisor is an important and lonely occupation. The aim of this study was to identify barriers and opportunities in working conditions for supervisors, being facilitators and implementers of change for meat cutters. Nine supervisors of meat cutters in one large company were interviewed. The semi-structured interviews covered their roles as supervisors, per-formance of the change process and their own working conditions. Notes were taken and structured in themes. Similarities, differences, plus and minus were identified. There was a nuanced view on the change processes and their effects. The change processes and the decisions were anchored in a democratic process with groups of employees and the union. All were clear on what demands the company had on them. They were secure in a functioning network of peers and their immediate superior. On their own education, most were as a whole satisfied, but in need of more training and talked of lifelong learning. They consi-dered their work demanding and lonely, with a need both to be manager and leader. A shared leadership could mean doing a better job. There is a need for education and training as a manager and leader as well as the opportunity to discuss with peers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IOS Press, 2012
Keyword
Manager, leader, work environment, meat cutter, improvement
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-77478 (URN)10.3233/WOR-2012-0776-4850 (DOI)000306361804159 ()2-s2.0-84859833370 (Scopus ID)
Conference
IEA 2012
Note

QC 20120307

Available from: 2012-03-07 Created: 2012-02-07 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
7. Deboners’ stress in alternatively organized work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Deboners’ stress in alternatively organized work
2011 (English)In: Human Factors in Organisational Design and Management - X / [ed] Matthias Göbel, Candice Christie, Swantje Zschernack, Andrew Todd, Miriam Mattison, 2011Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The high reported rates of work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD)and accidents among butchers and deboners in Sweden have resulted in several initiativesto reduce these. In this study, eight deboners working every second week at a pace lineand every second week at single tables, were examined concerning physical work load(heart rate) and feelings of stress and energy (stress-energy formula and interviews). Ther esults show that the physical work load was highest at single tables but that feelings of stress and musculoskeletal strain were highest at the pace line. The reasons for this are discussed.

Keyword
deboners, stress, work organization, line work
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-153793 (URN)
Conference
ODAM 2011
Note

QC 20150306

Available from: 2014-10-09 Created: 2014-10-09 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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