volume: 42, issue:
The Amazon rainforest covers an area of about 50% of the Brazilian national territory, which consists mainly of upland rainforests that are generally poorly managed, because of low investment in technology, planning, operations and manufacturing. Logging activities require a large contingent of heavy machinery and an intense physical workload from the operators and crews. The thermal comfort at work in tropical regions is between 20 and 24°C; however, in the Central Amazon the daily average temperature exceeds 28°C. The sum of these adverse factors leads to a common denominator: low quality logging operations that lead to unsustainable forest management. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of environmental thermal conditions on performance, rest breaks, work dynamics and safety of workers involved in the logging operations, as well as to understand better their interactions. The data was collected from the following logging activities: felling, pre-skidding, skidding and landing operations. These variables were analyzed using PCA analysis, MANOVA and multiple linear regression. The variables of productivity and rest breaks were strongly influenced by mechanical interruption and time of the workday. We concluded that mechanical availability was the most influential factor in the performance of logging operations. In addition, environmental thermal conditions, bonus payments and work dynamics showed an influence. To a less extent, there was an influence of safety and physical comfort of workers, which resulted in higher rest breaks, depending on the operation involved. This influence was observed in operations with a higher physical workload (felling and pre-skidding). Moreover, the tree volume had a significant impact on the productivity of the chainsaw operator, which was also influenced by the species factor, as in the species Hymenolobium modestum. Lastly, improvements in working conditions such as appropriate clothing, job rotation and scheduled breaks would lead to a greater worker well-being with increased labor productivity and safety. In turn, this would greatly contribute to the quality and performance of overall forest management and sustainability in the economic development of the Amazon region.