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Load of cleaning work - Industry level study in EU

EU wide ErgoClean project is aiming to prevent occupational diseases and accidents in cleaning. The project set out to find answers why cleaning is medium-heavy job and where does the load fall? Workload measurements were done with Myontec ErgoAnalysis providing accurate data for analysis and further steps.

Firstly the project did survey with 10 cleaning companies in Estonia, Hungary, Finland and Netherlands to collect and analyse answers regarding cleaning workload.

The percentage of cleaners who had experienced pain in different parts of the body.

Secondly, the project measured 111 work tasks or tests, including repetitions. The measurements were done by Myontec ErgoAnalysis which combines muscle activity, motions, heart rate and video into one, comprehensive loading profile. The products used were:

  • ErgoShirt, smart clothing for upper body measuring load on the arms and shoulder.

  • MBody shorts measuring thigh muscles.

  • ErgoAnalysis software and reporting tool to run quick reports were used for data analysis including load distribution, static load, micro-breaks during muscle work and the elevated position of the upper arms.

ErgoAnalysis solution combines muscle activation of each muscles groups together with motions like arm elevations or leaning with heart rate and video. Splitting recordings into work task is showing load distribution, static load, microbreaks and positions immediately.

There are differences in cleaning methods and practices between project countries. For this reason, methods that were not commonly used in all project countries were also selected for testing. The measurements were carried out in Finland during October and November 2022 in cooperation with the staff of Keuda Cleaning Services. Two cleaners were involved in the studies. Each of the employees performed two repetitions of the tested methods.