Labor Activities and Occupational Health in Brazilian Swine Production – A Case Study

N. A. Silveira, I. A. Nääs, D. J. Moura, D. D. Salgado, R.B.T. R. Silva


Swine production is an important business in Brazil with 2.5 million sows, and in this economic sector there is large concentration of workers performing both manual and mechanical tasks exposed to numerous labor risks and accidents. Very few ergonomic studies have been done in Brazilian commercial animal production activities. This research aimed to evaluate the symptoms found by swine production workers, relating them with the worker’s age and time involved in specific task. A questionnaire was prepared seeking the evaluation of the working environment as well as the worker’s life quality, by analyzing any complaint and/or symptom related or found during the research. Twenty five individuals who worked eight hours daily in commercial swine housing were selected randomly to answer the questionnaire. Ages varied from 16 to 60 years old and related to gender, 68% were male and 32% were female. The research was carried out in a commercial swine production facility in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Data were registered and organized, and Fishers tests and Odds Ratio were used for statistical analysis in order to evaluate associations between worker’s age, duration of employment, and selected symptoms. The results showed that work within swine production in Brazil did not represent a risk for worker health. A positive correlation was found between physical fatigue and young workers, apparently because their muscular development is not adapted to the activity. A negative correlation between physical fatigue and the duration of employment performing a certain function was also found.

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