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Work organisation constructs and ergonomic outcomes among European forest machine operators

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The aims of the study were to: 1) create work organisation constructs for forest machine operators; 2) examine relationships between these work organisation constructs and different ergonomic outcomes. The study was carried out among forest machine operators in six European countries and was based on a questionnaire survey (n = 358). Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used in the formation of the construct measures of work organisation. The EFA resulted in a five-factor structure. The factors were named 'job control', 'variation', 'job rotation', 'breaks' and 'rate of work'. Three multiple regression analyses were carried out separately for the dependent variables job satisfaction, musculoskeletal symptoms and headache/sleeping problems. All regression analyses resulted in significant overall models. The highest explained variance among the dependent variables was found for job satisfaction (R = 0.51, i.e. 'large' effect size). The unique contribution of the work organisation constructs varied in the models, but 'job rotation' contributed significantly in all regression models. The results may be used as a source for ergonomic improvements to work organisation. The present study was performed as part of the EU project 'ErgoWood', which resulted in a European handbook for mechanised forest operations (Gellerstedt et al. 2005). The results delivered part of the evidence base for a toolbox in this handbook regarding changes in work organisation to improve health and performance.
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Keywords: factor analysis; job satisfaction; logging; musculoskeletal symptoms

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden 2: National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark,Department of Work Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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