Workplace analysis and stress assessment
Workplace analysis: general overview
In the field of workplace analysis, too, there are a large number of methods for exposure assessment. The range of exposure assessment methods extends from screening methods to expert procedures and varies with regard to the conditions and the field of application. Factors which are necessary for a foresighted design of the workplace in the context of demography and which are therefore of great importance in workplace analysis are not given sufficient attention. Therefore, the aim is to develop a short examination, which includes the addition of age-related influencing factors to the existing procedures.
The job analysis is used as a collective term for four partial examinations: Task, situation and role analysis, which enables the requirements analysis.
The procedure within a workplace analysis
Development of a requirement profile within the scope of a load assessment
The workplace analysis usually starts with a task analysis from the perspective of the organization. It is interesting in this respect, because it allows a complex activity to be divided into subtasks, from which in turn concrete requirements in the form of performance requirements can be derived. The completion of the task analysis is the status analysis. It concentrates on the structure of the fulfillment processes, the investigation of the employment relationships and the analysis of the possibilities of the fulfillment of performance. The role analysis focuses on the personal interaction between employees and external partners. The results also form the basis for the derivation of qualification requirements in the context of a requirements analysis for the job analysis. The goal of the requirements analysis is, among other things, the systematized determination of the current conditions for the execution of an activity at the workplace. It orients itself at the upstream subranges of the job analysis and develops from the results the specific requirements regarding the qualification of the employees. Usually this takes place with regard to concrete requirement types. Their evaluation can be illustrated in the form of a requirement profile. For the prognosis of future requirements a demand forecast is carried out. On the basis of the job analysis a job evaluation is carried out. At present, there is no sufficient theory model that allows to determine these requirements by means of work tasks. The frequently used requirements are often difficult to differentiate and their characteristics are difficult and unreliable to determine. In the determination of qualification requirements it becomes not least also recognizable that these are less an objective derivation from tasks of activity, but rather the result of a switching process.
Different methods of exposure assessment
Differences in approaches to workplace analysis
The following procedures for workplace analysis can be differentiated below: On the one hand, this type of exposure assessment involves non-standardized procedures, such as existing job descriptions, free reports from employees, freely written work reports by work analysts and supervisors, work performance of the work analyst and analysis of documents. On the other hand, there are semi-standardized procedures, such as the Critical Incident Technique, a company diary, observation and interviewing. The third point of workplace analysis is standardized procedures such as questionnaires, observation interviews and checklists. For workplace analysis, these different procedures are used both separately and in combination with each other in different procedures. These procedures of exposure assessment are structured as follows:
The non-psychological, technical-industrial-scientific investigations of workplace analysis are those that attempt to design and simplify work processes, reduce stress and review and improve working conditions on the basis of work flow, movement, needs and stress studies. In this load evaluation the working conditions and the technical-organizational work contents are in the focus; above all work/performance-oriented investigations are created.
Helpful methods for load assessment
Using methods of psychologically oriented analysis, an attempt is made to specifically and psychologically determine the perceptible and dubious behavior of employees at the workplace (workplace analysis). In the course of this personal orientation, a focus is placed on the fundamental recording of employee behavior and behavioral patterns at the workplace. At the same time, however, a comprehensive overall picture of the work situation must be created for the workplace analysis. It is necessary to differentiate between different procedures for the stress assessment: Activity or action-oriented approaches are derived from concrete operational experience values. Exemplary is here in the context of the load evaluation mentioned: Questionnaire for the job description of the leading employee, questionnaire for the position description of the leading employee, questionnaire for the job analysis and others, questionnaire for the description of the management position Behaviour-oriented approaches are based on the behavior observed during the task fulfillment. The main types of procedures are the questionnaire for the position analysis, the questionnaire for the job analysis, the activity analysis on the day of Frieling and others, the occupational science procedure for activity analysis, scales for behavioral observation. Personality-based approaches understand personality traits as the basis for effective task fulfillment.
A load assessment with Motion-Mining®
The advantage of Motion-Mining® workplace analyses
Workplace analyses within the MotionMining solution approach reveal hidden optimization potentials. The solution approach, based on the workplace analysis, allows a stress assessment of manual work with wearables (portable sensors, similar to fitness trackers) and a deep learning algorithm, better known as artificial intelligence. Work processes are automatically and anonymously recorded during the workplace analysis, processed by artificial intelligence and converted into human-readable key figures. Currently, we distinguish between more than 60 different movement sequences in our ergonomics analyses (a variant of the workplace analysis). Critical movements such as bending over from the back, carrying, lifting, holding, and overhead activities are considered in the load assessment. These movements are recorded in movement intervals during the ergonomics analysis (workplace analysis). Besides the typical movements, vibrations and repetitions are also included in the load assessment. On the basis of the data from the workplace analysis, overloading and permanent stress can be identified in the stress assessment and measures for prevention can be derived.
Usually such workplace analyses regarding efficiency and ergonomics, such as MTM, REFA or Leitmerkmalmethode, are performed manually. These methods of workplace analysis are therefore extremely time-consuming, specific and require a deeper understanding of the process. Traditionally, these workplace analyses are, for example, recorded and then evaluated by a trained process engineer using a stopwatch and clipboard (load evaluation). Since the process engineer accompanies an individual employee throughout the entire duration of the workplace analysis and uses photo or video analyses, among other things, for documentation purposes, such workplace analyses are generally not anonymous. In contrast, workplace analyses with motion mining over the entire recording period and the subsequent load evaluation are anonymous. Only average values are used for the exposure assessment of a workplace analysis, i.e. at least two data tracks are evaluated. Process owners are enabled by our Motion Mining® technology to perform process analyses (workplace analyses) more often, over a longer period of time and with several employees at the same time.
Motion-Mining® workplace analyses are currently mainly carried out in the production and logistics sectors. In the health care sector, we have also taken the first steps with pilot projects with regard to stress assessment. The workplace analysis is carried out with regard to the recording of internal material flows, care activities and their documentation.
With MotionMiners GmbH you have with Motion-Mining not only a powerful tool at hand, which automatically records and analyzes the processes, but also experienced process engineers, who support you in choosing the right methods for stress assessment.