Work load factors

Published 7.10.2019
Updated 7.10.2019

One-off survey

Work load factors

Combinations of two work load factors

Heavy lifting (20 kg) - Working in a forward bent posture
50%50%Heavy lifting (20 kg) (% workers)0102030405060708090100Working in a forward bent posture (% workers)0102030405060708090100Men in occupationWomen in occupationOccupations in which genders have been combined due to lack of data

The dots in the figure represent different occupations and the gender is indicated by the color of the dot. The values for the occupation can be seen by moving the cursor on the dot. The values of all nine work load factors can be seen by clicking the dot. You can also zoom the x axis of the figure with the roll of the mouse. If you have a touch screen, zooming can be done by pinching.

Occupation specific work load factors

All: (mean)
32.5026.6822.0121.7329.9619.8231.4737.9047.7324.1517.9211.4216.1326.9611.3413.7638.1549.91Work load factorHeavy physicalworkKneeling orsquatting atworkHeavy lifting(20 kg)Working with ahand above theshoulder levelWorking in aforward bentpostureLifting (5kg)Work demandinghigh handgripforcesSittingStanding orwalkingProportion of workers (%)0102030405060708090100110Men in occupationWomen in occupation

The database of work load factors can be used to map work load factors possibly associated with work disability and to plan preventive measures


The database of work load factors or job exposure matrix provides information of exposure to physical load factors by occupation for men and women. The job exposure matrix can be used to identify occupational groups with a high risk of work disability and to plan preventive ergonomic measures. It can also be used for the assessment of work ability and need for vocational rehabilitation.

The data are based on interviews, where the persons were asked about the occurrence of the most important physical load factors in their work. The data were received for altogether 401 occupations and thereby cover 90% of all occupational groups. The interviewed persons were a representative sample of the Finnish population. The data were gathered in 2000.

What do the measures tell?

The job exposure matrix comprises altogether nine physical load factors. The figure on the right side tells, what proportion of men or women in the occupation are exposed to the work load factor in question. The desired occupational group can be chosen from the dropdown menu. The information can also be found for men and women in the total population.

The figure on the left side contains information on exposure to the combinations of two work load factors. Altogether eight combinations can be seen. Exposure to a combination of work load factors typically increases the risk of work disability. You can identify the different occupations by clicking the dots. When clicking a dot, the values of all nine physical load factors in the occupation in question can be seen. The genders can be identified based on colors.

The figure has been divided into four quadrants according to the risk. Persons in occupations with the lightest shading are rarely exposed to either of the physical load factors. In occupations belonging to the darkest quadrant persons are likely exposed to both work load factors, while in the occupations in the remaining two quadrants persons are likely exposed only to one of the work load factors.

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Contact information

Svetlana Solovieva

+358 30 474 2402

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License

The publication is licensed under Creative Commons 4.0 International -license.

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