Evaluation of a participatory ergonomic intervention process in kitchen work

Applied Ergonomics 40(1):115 (2009) PMID 18314091

We evaluated a participatory ergonomic intervention process applied in 59 municipal kitchens. In groups of three to five kitchens, the workers participated in eight workshops, and generated and evaluated solutions to optimize musculoskeletal load in their work. An ergonomist initiated and supported the process. By the end, 402 changes were implemented. Evaluative data were collected using research diaries, questionnaires, and focus group interviews. The intervention model proved feasible and the participatory approach was mostly experienced as motivating. The workers’ knowledge and awareness of ergonomics increased, which improved their ability to tackle ergonomic problems by themselves. The changes in ergonomics were perceived to decrease physical load and improve musculoskeletal health. As hindering factors for implementation, lack of time and motivation, and insufficient financial resources were mentioned. In addition, the workers expressed a wish for more support from the management, technical staff, and ergonomists.

DOI: 10.1016/j.apergo.2008.01.006