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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Physical workload and psychosocial working conditions in Swedish pig transport drivers

Wilhelmsson, Sofia; Andersson, Maria; Arvidsson, Inger; Dahlqvist, Camilla; Hemsworth, Paul H.; Yngvesson, Jenny; Hultgren, Jan


Working conditions of 20 Swedish pig transport drivers (PTD) were assessed by a questionnaire, a workshop, and recorded postures and movements during on-farm loading, driving, unloading at abattoir and vehicle cleaning. High arm positions and high frequencies of shoulder problems indicated an excessive physical load on shoulders. Extreme crouching postures inside vehicles and high frequencies of lower back problems indicated high load on the back of PTDs. Inadequate design of on-farm loading areas was associated with knee discomfort. Observed variation in workload between PTDs could be explained by differences in physical working environment and pig handling practices. PTDs reported high job satisfaction and commitment although conflicts with farmers and official veterinarians, as well as regulatory conflicts were emphasized. We conclude that issues of inadequate farm and abattoir facilities, stakeholder conflicts and insufficient training in animal handling need to be addressed to ensure sustainable PTD working conditions.


Occupational exposure; Physical; Psychosocial; Velocity; Movement; Handling; Pigs; Preslaughter transport

Published in

International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
2021, Volume: 83, article number: 103124
Publisher: ELSEVIER