Identifying Situational Operational Leeway for Subcontract Supervisors so as to Progress in MSD Prevention

  • A. Cuny-GuerrierEmail author
  • S. Caroly
  • F. Coutarel
  • A. Aublet-Cuvelier
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 820)


Supervisors seek to regulate critical situations influencing operators’ capacity to deal with risks of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). The regulation adopted depends on the supervisors’ situational operational leeway (SOL), which is influenced by their individual characteristics and by characteristics related to their working environment (2–3). The aim of this study was to identify the components of SOL for first-line supervisors working through subcontracting, in order to allow them to contribute to the design of a working environment favourable to prevention of MSDs in the supervised operatives. Two qualitative case studies were conducted on meat-cutting supervisors employed by an external company (EC) and working in a user company (UC). From interviews with the supervisors and observation of their work (for 2 to 6 h on 4 days each), 15 critical situations were identified. These situations were then examined through self-confrontation interviews. The components of the SOL for the two supervisors were then constructed from the analysis of those situations. The SOL of the subcontracted supervisors breaks down as 16 components: 4 individual ones (i.e., the supervisors’ cutting skills), 4 organizational ones related to the EC (i.e., procedural autonomy), 4 organizational ones related to the UC (i.e., flexibility of the production modes), and 4 collective components related to opportunities to cope collectively by interacting with EC-supervised operatives and/or with UC employees (i.e., with support from UC supervisors). Individual components were mobilized most often, whereas organizational components were not systematically identified. The collective components were mobilized particularly in situations lacking organizational components.


Musculoskeletal disorders Supervisor Subcontracting meat-cutting sector 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Cuny-Guerrier
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. Caroly
    • 2
  • F. Coutarel
    • 3
  • A. Aublet-Cuvelier
    • 1
  1. 1.INRSVandœuvreFrance
  2. 2.PACTE, Communauté Université de Grenoble AlpesGrenobleFrance
  3. 3.ACTé, EA 4281, Université Clermont AuvergneChamalièresFrance

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