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There is now a tool for shipping companies that want to reduce the number of strain injuries among their employees. The method helps to identify risks as well as actions to take, and it is free.
There is now a tool for shipping companies that want to reduce the number of strain injuries among their employees. The method helps to identify risks as well as actions to take, and it is free.
Strain injuries have been one of the most common problems at work for decades, both in Sweden and in the rest of Europe. The fact that they have not decreased, despite increased automation, may have several causes. Linda Rose from the ergonomics unit at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) explained:
“In surveys of employees in EU member states, many say that their work has intensified and recovery times have got shorter. At the same time, there is more specialisation in many professions, which means that some work is repetitive.”
Linda Rose was at the SAN conference, where she gave more details about the risk management tool, Ramp, which is designed to detect and assess risks in order to deal with problems systematically.
Solid ground in research
“The strength of Ramp, apart from being easy to use and having a solid ground in research, is precisely in its support for remedies. Many other assessment tools focus only on the risks, not how to deal with them,” says Linda Rose.
Ramp is intended to be used in the whole company, from senior management to individual employees. Results are reported at three different levels. Those at the end of the chain who are working directly with environmental issues receive the most detailed answers. At level two, different problem areas are identified while level three specifies how many risk elements there are in the company as a whole, and which are most urgent.
“At the management level you don’t need to know whether most of the problems are with the neck or the shoulders. The highest priority is to see the overall risk and where the risks are greatest,” says Linda Rose.
Ramp was launched at the beginning of the summer and is free of charge. To be able to use all it features, though, Linda Rose recommends waiting for the courses that are under development, which will be launched at the beginning of 2018.
“The courses are in three parts and the first two take between ten and twenty hours to complete. Part three is more in-depth and takes about twenty-five hours,” she says.
The Ramp tool and the courses that go with it are free of charge.
Ramp is based on over 250 research reports and has been developed in conjunction with 80-odd companies from the areas of logistics, foodstuffs and assembly. Scania now uses Ramp as its global standard. A year and a half after starting with it, the company has reduced levels of sickness related to strain injuries. Ramp is available at ramp.proj.kth.se.
Linda Sundgren, text and photo

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