Manual materials handling: Case study at a portuguese handling company

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Manual Materials Handling (MMH) represents a significant part of the tasks carried out by workers across several economic activity sectors. However, there is a big discrepancy between working conditions and workers actual needs and limitations, and this reflects in the high rate of work-related disorders, particularly, the low back pain, due to incorrect MMH. Ergonomics plays an important role in order to reduce risks associated with MMH tasks, to improve workers safety and health, and, consequently, to raise awareness in organizations and society. It is within this scope, that the present study is presented. It aims to analyze and evaluate risks associated with MMH tasks using four risk assessment methods (MMH Guide, Key Indicator Method, Manual Handling Assessment Charts and Comprehensive Lifting Model). For that, four MMH tasks carried out in two workplaces in the luggage rooms at an airport in Portugal were evaluated. A questionnaire was also developed and applied in order to characterize the sample under study and to understand the company practices regarding MMH. Based on the results obtained, improvement measures were proposed, which can reduce or eliminate the risks associated with the tasks studied, like the implementation of automated or semiautomated loading systems or auxiliary lifting systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Systems, Decision and Control
EditorsPedro M. Arezes, João S. Baptista, Mónica P. Barroso, Paula Carneiro, Patrício Cordeiro, Nélson Costa, Rui B. Melo, A. Sérgio Miguel, Gonçalo Perestrelo
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-14730-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-14729-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameStudies in Systems, Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)2198-4182
ISSN (Electronic)2198-4190


  • Baggage handling
  • MMH
  • Risk assessment


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