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Hand Tools Characteristics in Slave and Modern Slave Labour

  • Gairo GarretoEmail author
  • J. Santos Baptista
  • Antônia Mota
  • A. Torres Marques
Chapter
  • 112 Downloads
Part of the Studies in Systems, Decision and Control book series (SSDC, volume 277)

Abstract

The Brazilian economy was founded on slave labour until the late nineteenth century. Based on an analysis of historical descriptive studies, this work aimed to make an objective investigation of the slaves’ safety conditions, concerning the use of manual tools, associated with mechanical risks. The research was conduct in selected databases without language restrictions. The tools’ safety conditions, as well as the work performed by them, were evaluated. The search initially provided 36,355 references. After applying the screening and eligibility criteria, this number was reduced to 20 with high-quality standards and a specific focus on the subject: 8 articles, three books and nine rare books. The tools used by the slaves ranged from simple wooden rods to cutting hand tools such as hoes, axes, and scythes, made of metal alloys. Compared with the hand tools used in the twenty-first century, those considered ideal in the nineteenth century tended to have higher mass and longer wooden cables. The shapes and dimensions of the metal tools did not change significantly since then. The evaluated studies pointed to the existence of similar devices in all Brazilian regions, suggesting that injury accidents also occurred similarly among slaves throughout Brazil. The same can be assumed for workers who currently use identical tools. The more ergonomic cable shape is the only apparent improvement in occupational safety.

Keywords

Hand tools Slavery Modern slavery Neo-slavery Brazil 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Authors would like to thank the support of Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa e ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico do Maranhão (FAPEMA)/Secretaria de Estado da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (SECTI) and Governo do Estado do Maranhão for funding this research.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Segurança do TrabalhoInstituto Federal do MaranhãoSão LuísBrazil
  2. 2.LAETA, Faculdade de EngenhariaUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Departamento de HistóriaUniversidade Federal do MaranhãoSão LuísBrazil

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