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Work process and workers' health in a food and nutrition unit: prescribed versus actual work

Luciléia Granhen Tavares Colares Carlos Machado de Freitas About the authors

This study focuses on the relationship between the work process in a food and nutrition unit and workers' health, in the words of the participants themselves. Direct observation, a semi-structured interview, and focus groups were used to collect the data. The reference was the dialogue between human ergonomics and work psychodynamics. The results showed that work organization in the study unit represents a routine activity, the requirements of which in terms of the work situation are based on criteria set by the institution. Variability in the activities is influenced mainly by the available equipment, instruments, and materials, thereby generating improvisation in meal production that produces both a physical and psychological cost for workers. Dissatisfaction during the performance of tasks results mainly from the supervisory style and relationship to immediate superiors. Workers themselves proposed changes in the work organization, based on greater dialogue and trust between supervisors and the workforce. Finally, the study identifies the need for an intervention that encourages workers' participation as agents of change.

Occupational Health; Working Conditions; Working Environment


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