Risk Assessment of Repetitive Movements of the Upper Limbs in a Chicken Slaughterhouse

  • Diogo Cunha dos Reis
  • Adriana Seara Tirloni
  • Eliane Ramos
  • Natália Fonseca Dias
  • Antônio Renato Pereira Moro
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 825)


Brazil is one of the main exporters of chicken meat since 2004. However, improvements in the working conditions in this sector have not expand at the same rate as production grows. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the risks associated with repetitive movements of the upper limbs in different meat processing tasks in a poultry slaughterhouse. The study was conducted in a poultry slaughterhouse with 3,500 workers, in which 300,000 chickens were slaughtered daily. In order to evaluate the risks associated with repetitive movements of the upper limbs, 10% of the workforce was evaluated while carrying out their work tasks, using the Checklist proposed by OCRA method. Descriptive statistics was used, as well as the Student t-test (SPSS 17.0) to compare the risk between left and right side of the body (p ≤ 0.05). The average of occupational repetitive actions performed by workers was 64.7 ± 13.3 per minute, representing 9 points in the OCRA scale (0 to 10 points scale). The average score of OCRA Checklist was 19.5 ± 2.5 (moderate risk). The scores for the right upper limb (20.0 ± 3.0 - moderate risk) were significantly higher (p = 0.024) than the contralateral limb (17.7 ± 2.8 - moderate risk). Considering the five risk categories proposed by the OCRA method, one work task was considered high risk (7%) and 14 presented moderate risk (93%). Through simulations, it was possible to reduce the risk of UL-WMSDs to very low levels by reducing only the activity working pace (–48.5 ± 11.8%).


UL-WMSDs Poultry slaughterhouse Risk assessment Ergonomics OCRA 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technological CenterFederal University of Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil
  2. 2.Biomechanics Laboratory, CDSFederal University of Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil

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