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Research article2022Peer reviewed

Effects of a training intervention for Swedish pig transport drivers on physical workload and time efficiency during loading

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

Abstract

Slaughter transportation of pigs can be considered a high-risk occupation, but has received very little scientific attention. We investigated the effect of a training intervention on transport drivers' physical workload, in terms of postures and movements, and time efficiency during loading of finishing pigs for slaughter transport. The training targeted pig handling and ergonomic working principles and was expected to decrease physical work-load and loading time per pig, due to less aversive handling and less stress-related pig behaviour. Inclinometric recordings of elevation and velocity of upper arms were used to assess workload before and after training. Seventeen drivers were studied during loading of 4,721 pigs at 36 loadings on 31 Swedish farms under varying conditions. Eleven of the drivers were trained and 10 of these were observed also after training. Overall mean peak loads for right arm elevation, right arm velocity and loading time per pig were 56.4 degrees, 184 degrees /s and 16.2 s, respectively. We were unable to confirm our hypotheses regarding effects of training on physical workload and loading time.

Keywords

Pig handling; Physical workload; Professional driver; Slaughter transport; Training; Work efficiency

Published in

International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
2022, Volume: 92, article number: 103356Publisher: ELSEVIER