Risk Assessment in an Industrial Hospital Laundry

  • Giulio ArcangeliEmail author
  • Manfredi Montalti
  • Francesco Sderci
  • Gabriele Giorgi
  • Nicola Mucci
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 820)


Background. The laundries present in hospitals are responsible for washing, disinfection and distribution of working clothes. In healthcare services, workers from laundry services are exposed to various occupational hazards, including the ergonomic ones, related in particular to repeated movements of lumbar flexion, raising the arms above shoulder level and transportation of loads. These conditions can provoke musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), one of the most common occupational disease present in developed countries.

Methods. Step one: evaluation of the baseline condition by two different approaches. (1) Risk assessment with the study of working conditions using a specific integrated tool; (2) analysis of referred symptoms from workers using a specific validated questionnaire for MSD, the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire. 167 workers are included, 51 males (age 42,8 ± 10,3 years), 118 females (age 45,1 ± 8,8 years). Step two: changes of working organization on the basis of the results of step one.

Results. The analysis of questionnaires showed higher prevalence of symptoms in the female groups, in particular in the iron area. Symptoms increase with age and BMI but not with years of employment. On these basis a reorganization of the job processes were carried out, with changing in the machinery and in job organization (e.g., time of work at the workstation, including more frequent rotations of workers), and a specific individual practical training of workers was realized.

Discussion. The incidence of MSD symptoms appear very high. The inherent characteristics of the job associated with individual factors and unfavorable ergonomic conditions can contribute in the occurrence of MSD, injuries and aggravation of existing diseases.


Musculoskeletal disorders Industrial laundry Ergonomic risks 


  1. 1.
    Nunes IL (2009) FAST ERGO_X – a tool for ergonomic auditing and work-related musculoskeletal disorders prevention. Work J Prev Assess Rehabil 34:133–148Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    PEROSH – Sustainable workplaces of the future – European research challenges for occupational safety and health. Multifactorial genesis of work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) 2012Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    INRS – Dossier Troubles Musculosquelettiqes (TMS). Accessed 20 May 2015Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Eurostat – Health and safety at work in Europe (1999–2007) – A statistical portrait, Inna Šteinbuka, Anne Clemenceau, Bart De Norre, August 2010Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    EU-OSHA – European agency for safety and health at work, Work-related musculoskeletal disorders: Back to work report 2007Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    EU-OSHA – European survey of enterprises on new and emerging risks (2010) Managing safety and health at work. Accessed 27 Feb 2015Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Putz-Anderson V (1988) Cumulative trauma disorders: a manual for musculoskeletal diseases of the upper limbs. Taylor & Francis, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    EUROFOUND – European foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions (2012) Fifth European working conditions survey 2010Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    EUROFOUND – Health and well-being at work: a report based on the fifth European working conditions survey 2012Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    HSE – Health and safety executive. Lower limb disorders. Accessed 22 May 2015Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    HSE – Health and safety executive (2002) Upper limb disorders in the workplaceGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    PEROSH – Sustainable workplaces of the future – European research challenges for occupational safety and health (2012). Multifactorial genesis of work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulio Arcangeli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manfredi Montalti
    • 1
  • Francesco Sderci
    • 1
  • Gabriele Giorgi
    • 2
  • Nicola Mucci
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental and Clinical MedicineUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Department of Human SciencesEuropean UniversityRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations