A total of approximately 1,400 baggage handlers work in ramp service in Sweden. This working environment is characterized by a number of "classic" ergonomic issues: heavy manual lifting, contorted and bending working postures, and working in cold and noisy environments. There is also a mental stress connected with working to a strict time frame as the scheduled flight times must be adhered to, and at the same time, individuals have very limited abilities to influence the work they do.
Just as important as these "classic" ergonomic, mental and environmental factors in the baggage handlers' work situation are the opportunities for recuperation following intense physical activity. The opportunity to recuperate depends on how tight the work schedule is being run and whether or not the actual loading/unloading work is rotated with other tasks.
During the project, the baggage handlers' working environment will be documented by means of several methods of directly measuring the working postures of 28 baggage handlers over a period of 3 days, filming the work, issuing questionnaires to baggage handlers at 6 chosen airports and interviewing supervisors and working environment actors. The goal is to lay the foundations for ergonomic and organizational changes which will improve the baggage handlers' working environment.