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Health effects of production factors. Hygiene of mental and physical labor. Prevention of overwork. Industrial hazards and occupational diseases. The main directions of their prevention



Productive activity is an integral part of the life of an adult able-bodied person. At the same time, the production process and factors of the working environment have a multilateral effect on the human body. The scientific direction of preventive medicine in the field of hygienic aspects of human labor is occupational hygiene or (in recent years) occupational medicine.

Production factors affecting workers may include:

- chemical, physical and biological harmful factors of the working environment;

- Features of production processes and equipment;

—- the nature and organization of labor;

- organization of jobs;

- condition and hygienic effectiveness of sanitary devices and personal protective equipment (PPE);

- household support for workers in the workplace;

- The psychological climate in the workforce.

In modern forms of labor activity, purely physical labor does not play a significant role. However, the physiological classification of labor activity remains generally recognized, according to which they differ: forms of labor that require significant muscle activity; mechanized forms of labor; forms of labor associated with semi-automatic and automatic production; group forms of labor associated with remote control; forms of intellectual labor.

Forms of labor requiring significant muscular activity Currently, this type of labor operations takes place in the absence of mechanized means for work. These works are characterized, first of all, by increased energy costs from 17-25 MJ (4000-6000 kcal) per day and higher.

Physical labor, developing the muscular system and stimulating metabolic processes, at the same time has a number of negative consequences. First of all, it is the social inefficiency of physical labor, associated with its low productivity, the need for a high voltage of physical forces and the need for a long (up to 50% of the working time of rest).

Group forms of labor - conveyor. Features of these forms of labor are determined by crushing the process into operations, a given rhythm, a strict sequence of operations, automatic feeding of parts to each workplace using a moving conveyor belt.

The conveyor form of labor requires the synchronized work of its participants in accordance with a given pace and rhythm. Moreover, the smaller the time interval spent by the employee on the operation, the more monotonous the work and its content is simplified. Monotonia is one of the leading negative features of conveyor labor, leading to premature fatigue and rapid nervous exhaustion. This specific phenomenon is based on the predominance of the inhibition process in cortical activity, which develops under the action of uniform repetitive stimuli. At the same time, the excitability of the analyzers decreases, the attention is scattered, the reaction rate decreases and fatigue quickly sets in.

Mechanized forms of labor. With these forms of labor, the energy costs of workers are in the range of 12.5-17 MJ (3000-4000 kcal) per day.

A feature of mechanized forms of labor are changes in the nature of muscle loads and the complexity of the program of action. Occupations of mechanized labor often require special knowledge and motor skills. In conditions of mechanized production, a decrease in the volume of muscle activity is observed, small muscles of the distal extremities are involved in the work, which should provide greater speed and accuracy of movements necessary to control the mechanisms. The uniformity of simple and mostly local actions, the uniformity and small amount of information perceived in the work leads to the monotony of labor,

Forms of labor associated with partially automated production. In semi-automatic production, a person is turned off from the process of directly processing the subject of labor, which completely implements the mechanism. A person’s task is limited to performing simple machine maintenance operations: submit material for processing, put in motion a mechanism, and remove a machined part.

Characteristic features of this type of work: monotony, increased pace and rhythm of work, loss of creativity.

The physiological feature of the largely automated forms of labor is the employee’s willingness to act and the associated quick reaction to eliminate the problems that arise. Such a functional state of “operational expectation” can vary in degree of fatigue depending on the attitude to the work, the urgency of the necessary action, the responsibility of the work ahead, etc.

Forms of labor associated with the management of production processes and mechanisms. With these forms of labor, a person is included in the management system as a necessary operational link: the less automated the management process, the greater his participation. From a physiological point of view, two main forms of production process control are distinguished. In some cases, control panels require frequent active human actions, and in others - rare. In the first case, the employee’s continuous attention is discharged in numerous movements or speech-motor acts, in the second case, the employee is mainly in a state of readiness for action, his reactions are few.

Forms of intellectual (mental) labor. This work is presented both by professions related to the sphere of material production (designers, engineers, technicians, dispatchers, operators, etc.), and outside it (doctors, teachers, writers, artists, artists, etc.).

Intellectual work is characterized by the need to process a large amount of heterogeneous information with the mobilization of memory, attention, and the frequency of stressful situations. At the same time, muscle loads are usually insignificant, daily energy expenditures are 10-11.7 MJ (2400-2000 kcal per day). This type of labor is characterized by hypokinesia, i.e. a significant decrease in human motor activity, leading to a deterioration in the reactivity of the body and an increase in emotional stress. Hypokinesia is an unfavorable production factor, one of the conditions for the formation of cardiovascular pathology in people with mental labor.

Forms of mental labor are divided into operator, managerial, creative labor, labor of medical workers, labor of teachers, pupils and students. These types of labor differ in the organization of the labor process, the uniformity of the load, the degree of emotional stress.

Camera work. In the conditions of modern mechanized production, control functions over the operation of machines become the main ones; operator activity is becoming widespread.

The operator’s work is characterized by great responsibility and high neuro-emotional stress.
For example, the work of telephone operators is characterized by the processing of a large amount of information in a short time and increased neuro-emotional tension.

Managerial work - the work of heads of institutions and enterprises is characterized by an excessive increase in the amount of information, an increase in the lack of time for its processing, increased personal responsibility for making decisions, and the periodic occurrence of conflict situations.

Creative work (scientists, writers, composers, artists, painters, architects, designers) is the most complex form of work, requiring a significant amount of memory, attention stress, which increases the degree of neuro-emotional stress.

The work of teachers and medical workers is characterized by constant contacts with people, increased responsibility, often lack of time and information to make the right decision, which causes a high degree of neuro-emotional stress.

The work of pupils and students is characterized by the stress of basic mental functions, such as memory, attention, perception; the presence of stressful situations (exams, tests).

Primary functional changes in the human body during mental work occur primarily in the dynamics of changes in higher nervous activity. Local activation processes develop in many areas of the brain, capturing the left and right hemispheres. The most important role in the implementation of mental functions is played by the frontal parts of the brain.

The main task of occupational medicine in the field of organizing the labor process is to prevent the development of fatigue and overwork.

Fatigue is a physiological state, accompanied by a feeling of fatigue, decreased performance caused by intense or prolonged activity, expressed in the deterioration of quantitative and qualitative indicators of work and stopping after rest.

Unlike fatigue, overwork is a borderline condition with pathology. Moreover, ordinary short-term rest does not restore the initial level of working capacity, and a change in morphological, biochemical and other indicators of the body is pronounced and long-lasting.

Based on the essence of fatigue and given the known mechanisms that cause this condition, its prevention can be achieved thanks to a wide range of socio-economic, psychophysiological, technical and other measures. Ergonomics, technical aesthetics, engineering psychology and the scientific organization of labor (NOT) are engaged in the development of such measures intended for implementation in production, in addition to hygiene, physiology and psychology of labor.

Ergonomics deals with the applied issues of the physiology of labor: rationalization of labor processes and workplaces aimed at adapting them to the capabilities of a person, taking into account their anatomical and physiological and psychological characteristics, which is essential for preventing fatigue and improving performance.

Technical aesthetics has two main types of application: color design of industrial premises and equipment and artistic design of equipment, i.e. creation of equipment of a beautiful and rational form, providing ease of use.

Technical (or production) aesthetics deals with the selection and application of optimal colors for industrial premises and equipment, i.e. the creation of a color climate. Basically, this is a group of colors that have low saturation and a relatively large reflection coefficient.

The color scheme of production facilities should be different depending on the nature of the work performed. So, for example, “cold” color tones (green, green-blue), lowering eye strain and acting soothingly, are recommended for use when performing mental and physical work that requires great concentration.

Technical aesthetics measures increase a person’s performance not only by creating a good mood (positive emotions), but also by influencing the functions of the cardiovascular and central nervous system. Properly and rationally executed color design gives a great production and economic effect. Functional painting of production facilities and equipment increases labor productivity.

Engineering psychology studies the relationship between the design of control panels and the characteristics of the perception and processing of information by operators. The purpose of engineering psychology is the design and construction of control panels, taking into account the throughput of human analyzer systems (visual, auditory, etc.) so that the flow of incoming signals does not exceed the psychophysiological capabilities of a person.

The operator’s communications with the machine are carried out by perceiving information, transmitting it to the central nervous system, processing, making a decision, transmitting it to executive bodies and performing it. This last stage is carried out by affecting the controls of the machine.

There are other forms of interaction between the operator and the machine, which are characterized by the operator's working position, magnitude of effort, speed, trajectory, and number of movements.

Scientific organization of labor. Currently, at all large industrial enterprises there is a service for the scientific organization of labor (NOT), which is engaged in the development and implementation of measures aimed at optimizing the labor process. This activity should be based on the achievements of science, including hygiene and physiology of work, as well as on best practices, which will allow the best organization of equipment and people in a single production process, ensuring the most efficient use of material and labor resources, and continuous increase in pile productivity. The implementation of hygiene measures by the NOT system contributes to the improvement of working conditions and the preservation of human health.

However, not only overwork characterizes the possibility of adverse effects on the human body.

A person’s labor activity takes place in a specific work environment, which, if hygiene requirements are not observed, can have an adverse effect on a person’s working capacity and health.

The production environment, as part of the external environment surrounding a person, consists of natural and climatic factors and factors associated with professional activities (noise, vibration, toxic fumes, gases, etc.), which are commonly called harmful factors. The same factors can be dangerous.

Dangerous factors are those that can, under certain conditions, cause an acute violation of health and death of the body; harmful - factors that adversely affect performance or cause occupational diseases and other adverse effects.

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