chapter  5
18 Pages

Discomfort and Productivity in Improved Bricklaying

Approximately 20,000 bricklayers and 7000 bricklayer assistants are involved in bricklaying in the Netherlands (Jong et al. 2003). They make new houses, offices, and industrial structures and renovate older buildings. Discomfort during this work is very high (Arbouw 1994): 38% of the bricklayers and 36% of the bricklayer assistants in the Netherlands reported back complaints during work (Arbouw 2000 in Jong et al. 2003). Each bricklayer handles manually about 800 to 1000 bricks per day. A bricklayer assistant transports manually about 2400 to 3000 bricks per day (Miedema and Vink 1996). The general agreement is that there is certainly room for improvement, so the total process of bricklaying was improved. The Dutch brick manufacturers’ alliance (KNB), the Dutch bricklayers’ employers alliance (NMPB), the employers’ alliance in the Dutch construction industry (NVOB), and the secondlargest applied scientific research institute in Europe (TNO) developed a new method of laying and transporting bricks. In this chapter a distinction is made between the improvements for bricklayers and those for bricklayer assistants.