Determination of Stress and Strain at Real Work Places: Methods and Results of Field Studies with Air Traffic Control Officers

  • Walter Rohmert
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 8)


The work place of the air traffic control officeris to be regarded as a man-at-work system. Evaluating man’s task in the air traffic control system shows that air traffic controlling means a work system with “manual” performance. All three partial functions, effecting/controlling/monitoring, necessary to be fulfilled in each work system are performed by man himself.

At Frankfurt airport a lot of field studies were carried out over a period of roughly four years including research on about 115 air-traffic-control officers. Methods were developed for the assessment of stress and strain. Stress is defined as all factors of work which result in reactions of the controller’s receptor and effector system. Stress leads to strain in human beings not only dependent on stress but also dependent on the individual’s characteristics. An overview of all methods and techniques used for assessment of stress and strain will be given.

Based on the concept of the man-at-work-system and the description of strain-related work content a new Ergonomic Job Description Questionnaire has been developed, the results of which allow a deeper look into methods and techniques needed both for evaluation purposes and for designing future air-traffic controlsystems.

Some results of the field studies in air-traffic control research are illustrated.


Technical Equipment Catecholamine Secretion Control Officer Muscular Work Strain Factor 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter Rohmert
    • 1
  1. 1.Director of Institute of ArbeitswissenschaftUniversity of TechnologyDarmstadtW. Germany

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