1452 Powerful women’s hands

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Abstract

Introduction

In 2016 a research on musculoskeletal disorders and gender was completed, especially on the capacity of women to perform repetitive tasks involving a prehensile effort of less than 15 n or manual loads of less than 50 g per repetition, in relation to male workers.

Methods

The sample was formed by 150 women and 150 men from three industrial plants located in Valencia (Venezuela), Santa Cruz (Venezuela) and Tijuana (Mexico) in fan, snacks and hydraulic connexions manufacturing sectors. The study correlated three variables: job risks (biomechanics: repetition and postures, psychosocial: quantitative psychological requirements), health valuation and average labour productivity.

Results

Women had a lower biomechanical involvement in upper limbs in the presence of a similar exposure to male, having, on average, a higher rate of productivity, especially in the case of tasks of low force demand. The male group always started the days (daily and weekly) with peaks of productivity, but this was decreasing throughout the day and week; However, the productivity of the female group remained constant and was, on average, 18.3% higher than that of the male sample, taking into account the effect of absences, medical rest and turnover.

Conclusion

The study does not show a greater biomechanical resistance of the female articular systems in relation to the masculine ones, but it does suggest a greater ‘muscular intelligence’, which acts as a protective factor and enhances productivity. From a macroergonomic point of view, the female population was more resilient, which allows maximising the learning curve, increasing labour availability and minimising turnover. These protective factors can be incorporated as part of a plan for the prevention of the ergonomic and psychosocial risks from which both genders can benefit.

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