Physiological Work Load During Rescue Activities in a Controlled Simulation of Earthquake and Tsunami in a Seaport of a Mining Company

  • Esteban Oñate
  • Elías Apud
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 825)


Disasters, are almost impossible to predict, so it is necessary to have good organization systems to react fast and efficiently. Emergency brigades are fundamental to take control and protect populations affected. It is important to organize work to balance the work load between members of the crews. Therefore, simulations are useful to analyze work organization.

The objective of the study was to determine the level of physiological load imposed by the activities that brigade members carried out during earthquake and tsunami simulations. The evaluations were performed in the port of a mining company. The rescue of two operators was evaluated. One of them was injured and the other unconscious. Seven workers divided in two crews participated in the rescues. Cardiac frequency was registered simultaneously in all the workers. Work studies were conducted during the time that lasted the simulation.

The results reveal that there were significant differences in the physiological load of the members of the brigade. While some of them performed light activities, other workers reach dangerous levels overloading their cardiovascular system by more than 80%. Considering that they were suitable for the job, the organization of work should be re-examined, so that there is a better distribution in the intensity of the efforts in the people who make up the crew. Therefore, it is recommended to carry out participatory activities and re-evaluate simulations in order to verify if organizational changes lead to a better work load distribution.


Workload Rescue simulations Disasters 


  1. 1.
    Apud E, Meyer FY, Maureira F (2002) Ergonomía en el combate de incendios forestales, 1st edn. Ed. Trama, ConcepciónGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Apud E, Meyer F (2009) Ergonomía para la Industria Minera, 1st edn. Ed. Trama, ConcepciónGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unit of ErgonomicsUniversity of Concepción, Barrio Universitario s/nConcepciónChile

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