Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Biomechanical damage risk in steelworks

Ergonomic and technical measures for the prevention of biomechanical risks in the ladle bay in a steelworks were analysed. Over 20 recommendations for risk reduction, job improvement and stress constraint elimination were developed and implemented.

Load handling was improved by installing an electric travelling work stage and by fitting a device to the boom of a hydraulic telescopic bucket loader to remove plugs and inner nozzles. Computer aided design was used to determine an appropriate layout for the work area. The physical effort required to handle tools was reduced by ergonomic design, including weight reduction, improvement of lever ratios and better design of handles for easier grip. Heat stress was reduced by providing heat shields and, for summer use, lightweight flame retardant clothing. Exposure to noxious substances was alleviated by more efficient extraction. Training of the workforce, medical screening of new workers and systematic medical surveillance were instituted to detect incipient damage and prevent serious injury.

A checklist of a general nature, suitable for load handling arrangements in the iron and steel industry, has been produced to provide suggestions for ergonomic improvements.

The executive summaries in English, and the final reports in Community languages, are available on request to:

Community Ergonomics Action
Bureau of Information and Coordination
PO Box 237
L-2012 Luxembourg

Reported by

Huettenwerke Krupp Mannesmann
Ehinger Strasse 200
47259 Duisburg-Huckingen
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