(Last amendment on June 21, 2007)
17.1. The purpose of this Regulatory Standard (NR) is to establish parameters for the adaptation of the work conditions to the psycho-physiological characteristics of the workers in order to provide maximum comfort, safety and efficient performance.
17.1.1. The working conditions include the aspects of lifting, carrying and unloading materials, furnitures, equipments and environmental conditions of the job and the organization of work itself.
17.1.2. It is up to the employer to conduct ergonomic analysis of the work and shall address at least the working conditions established in this NR, to evaluate the adaptation of working conditions to psycho-physiological characteristics of the workers.
17.2. Lifting, carrying and lowering materials individually.
17.2.1. For purposes of this Regulatory Standard:
22.214.171.124. Manual handling shall mean any activity that requires an individual worker to lift, carry or lower a load.
126.96.36.199. Young worker shall mean any worker who is under eighteen years and greater than fourteen years of age.
17.2.2. The workers whose weights are likely to compromise their health and safety are not allowed to perform manual handling.
17.2.3. All the workers assigned to the manual handling of loads, except for the lighter ones, shall receive satisfactory trainings or instructions regarding to the work methods that will be used, with a view to safeguard their health and prevent the accidents.
17.2.4. With a view to limit or facilitate the manual handling, appropriate technical measures shall be used.
17.2.5. When women and young workers assigned to the manual handling tasks, the maximum weight of the loads shall be clearly lower than those assigned to the men, in order not to compromise their health and safety.
17.2.6. Moving and lowering materials by pushing or pulling shall be performed by trolleys on rails, wheelbarrows or any other mechanical device so that the physical effort exerted by the worker is compatible with his/her force capacity and does not compromise his/her health and safety.
17.2.7. Lifting materials shall be performed by a mechanical equipment so that the physical effort exerted by the worker is compatible with his/her force capacity and does not compromise his/her health and safety.
17.3.1. Whenever the work is likely be performed in a seated position, the job shall be planned or adapted for this position.
17.3.2. While sitting or standing to work, worktops, tables, desks and panels shall provide the workers with the conditions of good posture, display and operation and shall meet the following minimum requirements:
a) have height and characteristics of the work surface compatible with the type of activity, with the required distance from eyes to the field of work and with the height of the seat.
b) have a work area within easy reach and viewing by the employer;
c) have dimensional characteristics that allow proper positioning and movement of the body segments.
188.8.131.52. For job that also requires the use of the feet, in addition the requirements established in sub-item 17.3.2, the pedals and other controls for actuation by the feet shall have positioning and dimensions that enable easy reach, as well as appropriate angles between different body parts of the worker, according to the characteristics and peculiarities of the task to be performed.
17.3.3. The seats used in the work stations shall meet the minimum following requirements:
a) height adjustable to the worker’s stature and the nature of the tasks performed;
b) characteristics of little or no shaping on the base of the seat;
c) rounded front edge;
d) seat back with a form slightly tailored to the body for the protection of lower back.
17.3.4. For the activities in which the work should be performed while sitting, as from the ergonomic analysis of work, a footrest, which is adapted to the worker’s leg, may be required.
17.3.5. For the activities in which the work should be performed while standing, seats for resting shall be placed in the locations that can be used by all workers during breaks.
17.4.1. All the equipments that compose the workstation shall be appropriate to the psycho-physiological characteristics of the workers and the nature of the work to be performed.
17.4.2. In the activities that involve reading documents for data entry, typewriting or typing:
a) Adequate support for the documents that can be adjusted for a good posture, display and operation shall be provided, avoiding frequent movement of the neck and eye strain;
b) Easily readable document shall be used whenever possible. It is forbidden to use glossy paper, or any other type that causes glare.
17.4.3. The display screen equipments shall meet the followings:
a) mobility conditions enough to allow adjustment of the equipment screen to the lighting of the environment, protecting it from glare, and providing correct angle of visibility to the worker;
b) the keyboard shall be independent and have mobility, allowing the worker to adjust it according to the tasks to be performed;
c) the screen, the keyboard and the support for documents shall be placed in a way that the distance between eye-screen, eye-keyboard and eye-document will be approximately equal;
d) the equipments shall be positioned on work surfaces with adjustable height.
184.108.40.206. When the display screen equipments are eventually used the requirements established in sub-item 17.4.3 may be exempted, complying with the nature of the tasks performed and taking the ergonomic analysis of work into account.
17.5. Environmental factors
17.5.1. The environmental conditions of work shall be appropriate to the psycho-physiological characteristics of workers and the nature of the work to be performed.
17.5.2. In the workplaces where activities that require intellectual output and constant attention are performed, such as: control rooms, laboratories, offices, project development or analysis rooms, among others, the following conditions are recommended:
a) noise levels in accordance with the provisions of NBR 10152, Brazilian Standard registered in INMETRO;
b) effective temperature index between 20 °C and 23 °C;
c) air velocity not exceeding 0,75m/s;
d) relative humidity not less than 40 percent.
220.127.116.11. For the activities that have the characteristics defined in sub-item 17.5.2, but show no correlation or equivalence with those related to NBR 10152, the acceptable noise level for comfort is up to 65 dB (A) and the value of noise criteria curve no greater than 60 dB.
18.104.22.168. The parameters specified in sub-item 17.5.2 shall be measured in the jobs. The noise levels shall be determined in the hearing zone of the worker and other variables at the height of the worker’s chest.
17.5.3. There shall be adequate lighting, natural or artificial, general or supplementary, appropriate to the nature of the activity.
22.214.171.124. The general lighting shall be evenly distributed and diffused.
126.96.36.199. The general or supplementary lighting shall be designed and installed to avoid glare, annoying reflections, shadows and excessive contrasts.
188.8.131.52. The minimum levels of lighting to be observed in the workplace are the lighting values established in NBR 5413, Brazilian Standard registered in INMETRO.
184.108.40.206. The measurement of lighting levels provided in sub-item 220.127.116.11 shall be done in the work site where the visual tasks are performed, using a light meter with photocell calibrated to the sensitivity of the human eye according to the angle of incidence.
18.104.22.168. When the work site specified in sub-item 22.214.171.124 cannot be defined, a horizontal plane of 0.75 meter from the floor shall be taken into consideration.
17.6. Organization of work.
17.6.1. The organization of work shall be appropriate for the psycho-physiological characteristics of the workers and the nature of the work to be performed.
17.6.2. The organization of work, for purposes of this NR, shall take into consideration at least:
a) the production standards;
b) the procedures;
c) the time requirement;
d) the determination of the time content;
e) the pace of the work;
f) the content of the tasks.
17.6.3. In the activities involving static or dynamic muscular overload on the neck, shoulders, back, upper and lower limbs, and as from the ergonomic analysis of the work, the following requirements shall be meet:
a) all and any performance evaluation system for purposes of remuneration and benefits of any kind shall take the possible effects on health of the workers into consideration;
b) rest breaks shall be included;
c) upon the return to the work, after any type of work leave equal to or greater than 15 (fifteen) days, the demand of production shall allow a gradual return to the production levels during the period prior to the work leave.
17.6.4. In electronic data processing activities, the following requirements shall be met, except as provided in collective bargaining conventions and agreements:
a) The employer shall not promote any personnel evaluation system involving typing activities, based on the number of keystrokes on the keyboard, including automated, for purposes of remuneration and benefits of any kind;
b) maximum number of keystrokes required by the employer shall not be greater than 8,000 keystrokes per hour. For purposes of this NR, every pressure putting on the keyboard shall be considered as a keystroke;
c) effective working time for data entry shall not exceed the maximum limit of 5 (five) hours, and, during the remaining time in the day, the employee may perform other activities, as set forth in article 468 of the the Consolidation of Labor Laws, provided that they do not require repetitive movements or eye strain;
d) in the data entry activities, there shall be at least one 10 minute break for each 50 minutes worked, not deducted from the normal working hours;
e) upon the return to the work, after any type of work leave equal to or greater than 15 (fifteen) days, the demand of production in relation to the number of keystrokes shall be started at lower levels of the maximum number established in paragraph “b” and be gradually increased.