NR-36 – Health and Safety in Meat Processing Companies

(MTP Ordinance No. 4219, December 20, 2022)


36.1 Objectives
36.2 Workstations
36.3 Platforms, Walkways, and Stands
36.4 Product Handling
36.5 Product and Load Lifting and Transport
36.6 Animal Reception and Unloading
36.7 Machines
36.8 Equipment and Tools
36.9 Environmental Working Conditions
36.10 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Workwear
36.11 Risk Management
36.12 Environmental Risk Prevention and Occupational Health Medical Control Programs
36.13 Organization of Work
36.14 Activity Organization
36.15 Ergonomic Work Analysis
36.16 Health and Safety Training and Information
Annex I Glossary
Annex II Specific Safety Requirements for Machinery Used in the Slaugter and Meat Processing Industries

36.1 Objectives

36.1.1 The objective of this Standard is to establish the minimum requirements for the evaluation, control, and monitoring of existing risks in activities carried out in the meat processing industry and derivatives intended for human consumption, to permanently ensure safety, health, and quality of life at work, without prejudice to compliance with the provisions of other Regulatory Standards (NR) of the Ministry of Labor and Employment.

36.2 Workstations

36.2.1 Whenever work can be performed alternately standing and sitting, the workstation must be planned or adapted to favor the alternation of positions.

36.2.2 To enable the alternation of sitting and standing work, as referred to in item 36.2.1, the employer must provide seats for stationary workstations, in accordance with the recommendations of the Ergonomic Work Analysis (EWA), ensuring at least one seat for every three workers.

36.2.3 The number of seats at workstations where activities can be performed both standing and sitting must be sufficient to guarantee the alternation of positions, in compliance with item 36.2.2.

36.2.4 For manual work performed sitting or standing, benches, conveyors, norias, tables, or machines must provide conditions for good posture, visualization, and operation, meeting at least the following:

a) Height and characteristics of the work surface compatible with the type of activity, the required distance from the eyes to the work field, and the height of the seat;

b) Dimensional characteristics that allow adequate positioning and movement of body segments free from excessive joint amplitudes, both for sitting and standing work;

c) Work area within the manual reach zone allowing proper positioning of body segments;

d) Absence of sharp edges or burrs.

36.2.5 The dimensions of the workspaces must be sufficient for the worker to move body segments freely and safely, to facilitate work, reduce worker effort, and not require the adoption of extreme or harmful postures.

36.2.6 For work performed sitting: In addition to the provisions in item 17.3.3 of NR-17 (Ergonomics), seats must:

a) Have easy-to-handle adjustment systems;

b) Be made of material that prioritizes thermal comfort, complying with legal hygienic-sanitary characteristics. Footrests that adapt to the length of the worker’s legs must be provided when the operator’s feet do not reach the floor, even after seat adjustment, with the following characteristics:

a) Dimensions that allow proper positioning and movement of body segments, permitting position changes and full support of the feet;

b) Height and inclination adjustable and easy to operate;

c) Surface covered with non-slip material, complying with legal hygienic-sanitary characteristics. Furniture used in workstations where the worker can work sitting must:

a) Have work surface and seat heights compatible with each other;

b) Have sufficient space and depth to allow proper positioning of the thighs, seat placement, and movement of the lower limbs.

36.2.7 For work performed exclusively standing, the following minimum requirements must be met:

a) Horizontal and vertical reach zones that favor the adoption of proper postures and do not cause excessive joint amplitudes, such as shoulder elevation, excessive arm and neck extension, trunk flexion or twisting;

b) Sufficient space for legs and feet at the base of the work surface to allow the worker to get as close as possible to the point of operation and fully position the plantar region;

c) Foot support bars for alternating lower limbs when the activity allows;

d) Presence of seats or benches near the workplace for pauses allowed by work, meeting at least 50% of the workforce that will use these pauses.

36.2.8 For activities requiring the use of pedals and controls operated with the feet or other body parts in a permanent and repetitive manner, workers must alternate with activities demanding different physical-motor requirements. If the controls are operated by other body parts, they must be positioned and dimensioned to allow easy and safe reach and proper movement of body segments.

36.2.9 Workstations must have:

a) Floors with non-slip characteristics, complying with legal hygienic-sanitary characteristics;

b) Water and waste drainage systems;

c) Work and circulation areas sized to allow safe movement of materials and people;

d) Weather protection when activities occur in outdoor areas, complying with the hierarchy of measures provided in item 36.11.7;

e) Constant cleaning and sanitation.

36.2.10 Cold Chambers Cold chambers must have a device that allows the doors to be opened from the inside without much effort and an alarm or other communication system that can be activated from the inside in case of emergency. Cold chambers with a temperature equal to or lower than -18ºC must indicate the maximum time of stay in the location.

36.3 Platforms, Walkways, and Stands

36.3.1 The stands used to adjust the height of the work surface to the worker for activities performed standing must have dimensions, depth, width, and height that allow safe movement of the worker.

36.3.2 It is forbidden to improvise the adjustment of the workstation height to the worker with materials not intended for this purpose.

36.3.3 Platforms, fixed ladders, and walkways must comply with the provisions in NR-12 (Machinery and Equipment Safety). If it is technically unfeasible to place a guardrail, such as in the evisceration and cutting phases of large and medium-sized animals on elevated platforms, preventive measures must be adopted to ensure worker safety and proper positioning of body segments.

36.3.4 The height, positioning, and dimensions of platforms must be adequate to the characteristics of the activity, to facilitate the task to be performed safely, without excessive use of force, and without requiring extreme or harmful working postures.

36.4 Product Handling

36.4.1 The employer must adopt technical and organizational means to reduce efforts in product handling activities. The handling of animals or products must not require excessive muscle force from workers, and must meet at least the following requirements:

a) The elements to be handled must be arranged within the main reach area for the worker, both in sitting and standing positions;

b) The height of conveyors or other mechanisms used for depositing products and product parts handled must be dimensioned to avoid excessive extensions and/or elevations of arms and shoulders;

c) Boxes and other containers used for depositing products must be located to facilitate handling and avoid excessive and continuous adoption of trunk twisting and bending, arm and shoulder elevation and/or extension. Elements to be handled, such as boxes, trays, crates, must:

a) Have appropriate devices or shapes for a safe and comfortable grip;

b) Be free of edges or burrs that may cause irritation or injury;

c) Have dimensions and shapes that do not increase the physical effort of the worker;

d) Be stable. Item does not apply to cardboard boxes or sealed final products. Systems used in the transport of products to be butchered in line, mechanized overhead conveyors, and belts must have characteristics and dimensions that prevent excessive and continuous adoption of upper limb and neck postures. Activities requiring manual handling or carrying of bulky or heavy parts that may compromise health and safety must not be performed. If the part is not easily handled, technical means must be used to facilitate load transport. If technical mechanization of transport is not feasible, measures such as reducing the frequency and handling of these loads must be adopted. Control measures must be implemented to prevent workers from continuously and repetitively performing the following activities:

a) Sudden impact movements of the upper limbs;

b) Excessive use of muscle force;

c) Frequency of upper limb movements that may compromise health and safety;

d) Prolonged exposure to vibrations;

e) Immersion or permanent contact of hands with water. In animal processing activities, especially large and medium-sized animals, the following must be adopted:

a) Transport systems and mechanical aids for supporting loads, animal parts, and heavy tools;

b) Organizational and administrative measures to reduce the frequency and total time of handling activities when mechanization is technically unfeasible;

c) Technical measures to prevent animal movement during task execution from causing accident risks, such as cutting, worker falling, and pressing.

36.5 Product and Load Lifting and Transport

36.5.1 The employer must adopt appropriate technical and organizational measures and provide suitable means to reduce the need for constant manual handling of products and loads whose weight may compromise health and safety.

36.5.2 The lifting, transport, unloading, handling, and storage of products, animal parts, and materials must be performed in a manner that the physical effort required by the worker is compatible with their safety, health, and strength capacity.

36.5.3 The employer must conduct an ergonomic work analysis to evaluate the compatibility of workers’ physical effort with their strength capacity in activities requiring constant and repetitive lifting, transport, unloading, handling, and storage of animals, products, and materials.

36.5.4 The duration and frequency of manual load handling tasks that may compromise health and safety must be limited, with alternation with other activities or adequate pauses between periods not exceeding two hours, subject to other legal provisions.

36.5.5 Measures must be adopted to adjust the weight and size of the load, the number of movements to be made, the frequency of lifting and carrying, and the distances to be covered with loads that may compromise health and safety.

36.5.6 Floors and passages where manual lifting, carrying, and transport operations are performed must be in perfect condition and unobstructed.

36.5.7 In individual load lifting, handling, and transport, in addition to the provisions in item 17.2 of NR-17 (Ergonomics), the following requirements must be observed:

a) The locations for load grip and deposit must be organized so that loads, accesses, spaces for movement, grip and deposit heights do not force the worker to perform excessive trunk flexions, extensions, and rotations, and other forced and harmful positioning and movements of body segments;

b) The storage of materials and products must be organized according to weights and handling frequency, so as not to require constant handling of loads with weights that may compromise health and safety;

c) Measures must be adopted, whenever technically possible, to ensure that any materials and products to be frequently lifted, removed, stored, or carried are not located near the ground or above the shoulders;

d) Loads and equipment must be positioned as close as possible to the worker, ensuring sufficient space for the feet, to facilitate reach, not hinder movements, or cause other risks. Non-occasional lifting of loads when the horizontal reach distance of the grip is greater than 60 cm from the body is prohibited.

36.5.8 Technical, administrative, and organizational means must be adopted to avoid continuous and prolonged efforts by the worker for pushing and pulling loads. Whenever technically possible, carts with appropriate wheels or powered by electricity or other propulsion or traction systems that facilitate movement and reduce worker effort must be made available.

36.5.9 The transport and unloading of materials by pushing or pulling carts on tracks, wheelbarrows, or any other mechanical device must have mechanisms that allow proper positioning and movement of body segments so that the physical effort required by the worker is compatible with their strength capacity and does not compromise their safety or health.

36.5.10 Handles, grips, or support points of carts or other transport equipment by pushing must have an anatomical shape to facilitate grip and be positioned at an appropriate height to avoid forced postures, such as trunk flexion.

36.5.11 Transport equipment must undergo periodic maintenance.

36.6 Animal Reception and Unloading

36.6.1 Animal unloading and reception activities must be properly organized and planned, involving at least the following:

a) Specific procedures and safety rules for animal reception and unloading for workers and third parties, including drivers and assistants;

b) Signaling and/or separation of areas for vehicle, animal, and person passage;

c) Animal unloading platforms isolated from other sectors or work areas;

d) Workstations from reception to the animal pen must be protected from the weather for large animals;

e) Protective measures against the sudden and dangerous movement of large animals that may pose risks to workers;

f) Walkways for worker circulation beside or above the platform when access to animals requires it;

g) Information to workers about risks and preventive measures in working with live animals;

h) Establishment of orientation procedures for contractors and third parties regarding occupational risk provisions. Working alone in large animal unloading activities is prohibited.

36.6.2 Only properly informed and trained workers must remain in animal reception and unloading areas.

36.6.3 Dust control measures must be adopted in poultry reception and unloading to ensure that levels are not harmful to worker health.

36.6.4 The stunning box for animals – access to the location and the animal, and the positions and use of controls must allow safe execution of the activity for any type, size, and form of animal slaughter.

36.6.5 Devices must be provided to retain medium and large animals in case of failed stunning or non-stunning procedures that may pose risks to the worker due to animal movement.

36.6.6 The activity of inspecting large animals must be performed so that the conditions of the location and accesses ensure proper and safe positioning of worker body segments.

36.6.7 Preventive measures must be adopted so that activities of holding and slaughtering animals allow proper and safe worker movement. Alternation or pauses or other preventive measures must be adopted to minimize worker exposure in the activities described in item 36.6.7 and manual bleeding.

36.7 Machines

36.7.1 Machinery and equipment used in meat processing companies must comply with the provisions in NR-12 (Machinery and Equipment Safety).

36.7.2 The workforce for maintenance must be compatible with the number of machines and equipment in the company.

36.7.3 Aerial conveyor systems, belt conveyors, screw conveyors, or norias must be equipped with one or more emergency stop devices that allow their operation to be interrupted in short segments from any operator at their workstations.

36.7.4 Elevators, cranes, or any other machines and equipment must offer guarantees of strength, safety, and stability.

36.7.5 Maintenance and cleaning activities of machines and equipment that may pose accident risks must be performed by more than one worker, as required by the machine or equipment risk analysis.

36.7.6 The electrical installations of machines and equipment must be designed and maintained to prevent, by safe means, the risks of electric shock and all other types of accidents, complying with the provisions in NR-12 (Machinery and Equipment Safety) and NR-10 (Safety in Electrical Installations and Services).

36.7.7 Control measures must be adopted to protect workers from additional risks arising from:

a) Emission or release of physical or chemical agents by machines and equipment;

b) Heated emissions from machines, equipment, and pipelines;

c) Contact of workers with hot surfaces of machines and equipment that may cause burns.

36.7.8 In closed and unventilated locations, the use of internal combustion machines and equipment is prohibited unless equipped with suitable neutralizing devices.

36.8 Equipment and Tools

36.8.1 The equipment and tools provided must favor the adoption of proper postures and movements, ease of use, and comfort, without requiring the worker to use excessive force, pressure, grip, flexion, extension, or twisting of body segments.

36.8.2 The type, shape, and texture of knife handles must be appropriate for the task, the worker’s hand, and the possible use of gloves.

36.8.3 Tools must be specific and adequate for each type of activity and as light and efficient as possible.

36.8.4 Preventive measures must be adopted to allow the correct use of manual tools or equipment to avoid compression of the palm of the hand or one or more fingers on edges or sharp edges of the equipment. Preventive measures must include at least the following:

a) Sharpening and adjustment of tools and equipment;

b) Training and orientation, upon admission and periodically.

36.8.5 Manual equipment whose weight may compromise health and safety must be equipped with a support device.

36.8.6 Equipment must be positioned within the operator’s manual and visual reach limits, allowing proper and safe movement of upper and lower limbs, and respecting the nature of the task.

36.8.7 Electrical equipment and tools must be grounded, and wiring and cables must undergo periodic inspections to check for signs of wear or other defects that may compromise safety.

36.8.8 Work equipment and tools must have a constant maintenance system.

36.8.9 Workers’ suggestions must be considered in the choice of manual tools and equipment.

36.8.10 Employers must:

a) Establish requirements for selecting knife characteristics, with worker participation, based on the needs of existing tasks in the company;

b) Implement a knife sharpening control system;

c) Establish mechanisms for the constant replacement of sharpened knives, in adequate quantity based on production demand;

d) Instruct supervisors on the importance of replacing sharpened knives;

e) Train workers, especially newly hired or in cases of job change, in the use of honing steel, when applicable to the activity.

36.8.11 The knife sharpening sector or location, where present, must have adequate and safe physical space and furniture.

36.9 Environmental Working Conditions

36.9.1 Noise Measures to control environmental noise exposure must prioritize its elimination, reduction of its emission, and reduction of worker exposure, in that order. All working conditions with excessive noise levels must be studied to determine the necessary structural changes in equipment and production mode to eliminate or reduce noise levels. Recommendations for adjustments and improvements must be expressed in clear and objective programs, with implementation dates defined. If it is technically impossible to eliminate or reduce noise emission or when the protective measures adopted are insufficient or are in the study, planning, or implementation phase, or as a complementary or emergency measure, measures must be adopted to reduce worker exposure according to the following hierarchy:

a) Administrative or work organization measures;

b) Use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

36.9.2 Air Quality in Artificially Climatized Environments Companies must control the air in artificially climatized environments to maintain good indoor air quality and ensure the prevention of health risks to workers. To comply with item, the following must be adopted at a minimum:

a) Cleaning of air conditioning system components to prevent the diffusion or multiplication of harmful agents to human health;

b) Periodic verification of the physical conditions of filters, keeping them in operational condition and replacing them when necessary;

c) Adequate renewal of air inside climatized environments. An internal air renewal concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) equal to or less than 1000 ppm must be observed as an indicator of air renewal. A CO2 measurement above 1000 ppm does not indicate non-compliance with the criterion, provided the measurement does not exceed the external air concentration by more than 700 ppm. To measure the parameter indicated in item, the methodology contained in Technical Standard 002 of ANVISA Resolution RE No. 9, January 16, 2003, must be adopted. The procedures for maintenance, operation, and control of air conditioning systems and cleaning of climatized environments must not pose health risks to workers performing them or to the occupants of the climatized environments.

36.9.3 Chemical Agents The company must adopt collective and individual preventive measures when using chemical products. Collective preventive measures to be adopted when using ammonia must involve at least the following:

a) Maintaining environmental concentrations at the lowest possible levels and always below the action level (NR-09) through adequate ventilation;

b) Implementing mechanisms for early detection of leaks at critical points, coupled with an alarm system;

c) Installing a control panel for the refrigeration system;

d) Installing safety showers and eye washers;

e) Keeping emergency exits unobstructed and adequately signaled;

f) Maintaining appropriate fire prevention and combat systems in perfect working condition;

g) Installing showers or sprinklers above large ammonia vessels to keep them cooled in case of fire, according to risk analysis;

h) Keeping explosion-proof electrical installations near the tanks;

i) Signaling and identifying components, including pipelines;

j) Allowing only authorized personnel to perform inspection, maintenance, or operation activities in the engine room. In case of an ammonia leak, the refrigeration system control panel must:

a) Automatically activate the alarm system;

b) Activate the ammonia control and elimination system. The employer must develop an Emergency Response Plan that includes specific actions to be taken in the event of ammonia leaks. The Emergency Response Plan must contain at least the following:

a) Name and function of the technical responsible for the plan’s development and review;

b) Name and function of the person responsible for managing and executing the plan;

c) Designation of the emergency team members responsible for executing each action;

d) Establishment of possible emergency scenarios based on risk analysis;

e) Description of necessary measures for response to each contemplated scenario;

f) Description of emergency response procedures, including evacuation measures, removal of ignition sources when necessary, ways to reduce ammonia concentration, and leakage containment procedures;

g) Description of collective and individual protective measures;

h) Indication of appropriate PPE for the risk;

i) Record of simulated exercises conducted annually involving all employees in the area. Whenever an accident involving ammonia leakage occurs in work environments, the concentration of the product in the environment must be measured to authorize workers’ return to their activities. An assessment of the causes and consequences of the accident must be carried out, recording occurrences, affected posts and locations, identification of exposed workers, clinical evaluation results, and preventive measures to be adopted.

36.9.4 Biological Agents Activities and tasks likely to expose workers to biological contamination must be identified through:

a) Workplace study, considering control and hygiene measures established by Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP);

b) Mitigating controls established by sanitary inspection services from breeding to slaughter;

c) Identification of pathogenic agents and transmission means;

d) Epidemiological data related to the identified agent, including those contained in sanitary inspection service records;

e) Monitoring the clinical or subclinical condition of workers, according to the Occupational Health Medical Control Program (PCMSO). If exposure to a harmful biological agent to worker health is identified, control measures must be adopted using at least the following:

a) Cleaning and disinfection procedures;

b) Biosecurity measures involving the production chain;

c) Measures adopted in the production process by the company itself;

d) Provision of appropriate personal protective equipment;

e) Training and information for workers. The training indicated in item (e) must include:

a) Risks generated by biological agents;

b) Existing and necessary preventive measures;

c) Proper use of PPE;

d) Procedures in case of an accident. In activities that may expose workers to contact with excrement, viscera, and animal residues, technical, administrative, and organizational measures must be adopted to eliminate, minimize, or reduce direct worker contact with these products or residues.

36.9.5 Thermal Comfort Individual and collective preventive measures – technical, organizational, and administrative – must be adopted due to exposure in artificially refrigerated and excessively hot environments to provide thermal comfort to workers. Preventive measures must involve at least the following:

a) Control of temperature, air velocity, and humidity;

b) Constant maintenance of equipment;

c) Easy and unrestricted access to fresh water;

d) Use of PPE and work clothing compatible with the temperature of the location and the activity performed;

e) Other protective measures aiming at thermal comfort. When the environmental conditions are uncomfortable due to heat exposure, in addition to the provisions in sub-item, the following measures must be adopted:

a) Task alternation to reduce heat exposure;

b) Technical measures to minimize physical efforts. A hand-warming system must be provided near restrooms or break areas when manual activities are performed in cold environments or require constant contact with cold surfaces and products. Measures must be adopted to control environmental ventilation to minimize the occurrence of air currents directly applied to workers.

36.10 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Workwear

36.10.1 Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be selected to offer the necessary effectiveness for risk exposure control and comfort, complying with the provisions in NR-06 and NR-09. PPE used concurrently, such as helmets with goggles and/or hearing protection, must be compatible with each other, comfortable, and not pose additional risks. In activities with exposure to cold, clean and sanitized socks must be provided daily. Gloves must be:

a) Compatible with the nature of the tasks, environmental conditions, and workers’ hand sizes;

b) Replaced when necessary to avoid compromising their effectiveness. In activities where workers’ hands are completely wet and glove use is not possible due to generating additional risks, alternation with other tasks must be performed.

36.10.2 The employer must provide workwear so that:

a) Workers have more than one piece of clothing to use in layers, at their discretion, based on the activity and temperature of the location, complying with legal hygienic-sanitary characteristics and thermal comfort;

b) The extremities are compatible with the activity and workplace;

c) They are replaced when necessary to avoid compromising their effectiveness. Workwear must be changed daily, and its hygiene is the employer’s responsibility.

36.11 Risk Management

36.11.1 The employer must implement a planned, structured, and comprehensive approach to prevention through the management of risk factors in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), using all technical, organizational, and administrative means to ensure worker well-being and guarantee safe and healthy working environments and conditions.

36.11.2 The OHS and work environment prevention strategy must:

a) Integrate prevention actions with management activities and production dynamics, considering the competence and experience of workers and a representative appointed by the predominant category union to continuously improve protection levels and performance in the field of occupational health and safety;

b) Integrate prevention into worker training and capacity-building activities, including managerial levels.

36.11.3 In prevention planning, appropriate methods, techniques, and tools for risk assessment must be defined, including parameters and criteria necessary for decision-making.

36.11.4 Risk assessment aims to introduce preventive measures to eliminate or reduce risks and to determine whether the planned or existing measures are adequate to minimize the impact of these risks on health and safety.

36.11.5 Risk evaluation, control, and monitoring actions must:

a) Constitute a continuous and interactive process;

b) Integrate all prevention and control programs provided in other NRs;

c) Include consultation and communication with involved parties, with worker participation.

36.11.6 OHS actions must cover all risks to health and safety and address at least the following:

a) Risks generated by machines, equipment, installations, electricity, fires, among others;

b) Risks generated by the work environment, including exposure to physical, chemical, and biological agents as defined in NR-9;

c) Ergonomic risks and others generated by work organization.

36.11.7 Preventive and protective measures must be implemented according to the following priority order:

a) Elimination of risk factors;

b) Minimization and control of risk factors, with the adoption of collective measures – technical, administrative, and organizational;

c) Use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

36.11.8 The implementation of new installation projects, methods, or work processes, or modifications to existing ones and control measures must involve analyzing the repercussions on health and safety

36.11.9 When implementing or introducing changes in work environments and processes, it must be ensured that the involved workers are adequately informed and trained.

36.12 Environmental Risk Prevention and Occupational Health Control Programs

36.12.1 The Environmental Risk Prevention Program (PPRA) and the Occupational Health Medical Control Program (PCMSO) must be interconnected and comply with other standards, particularly NR-17.

36.12.2 For the development of preventive programs, the following aspects of work organization must be considered:

a) Compatibility of goals with working conditions and time provided;

b) Repercussions on worker health of any performance evaluation system for remuneration and advantages of any kind;

c) Insufficient periods for worker adaptation and readaptation to activities.

36.12.3 Clinical-epidemiological tools must be used in the PCMSO to guide measures to be implemented in the PPRA and ergonomic and general working condition improvement programs, through collective and individual information processing, including at least the following:

a) Passive surveillance through causal study in workers seeking medical services; b) Active surveillance using questionnaires, analysis of historical series of medical examinations, clinical evaluations, and complementary examination results.

36.12.4 The PCMSO coordinating physician must inform the PPRA coordinators and the employer of risk-generating situations for workers, especially when observing a causal link between worker health complaints and aggravations and work situations in the occupational medical control.

36.12.5 An Occupational Hearing Conservation Program must be implemented for workers exposed to sound pressure levels above action levels, containing at least the following:

a) Technical and administrative exposure controls to noise;

b) Periodic monitoring of exposure and control measures;

c) Worker training and information;

d) Determination of appropriate PPE;

e) Audiometries as per Annex I of NR-7;

f) Clinical and occupational history of the worker.

36.12.6 The PCMSO coordinator must prepare an annual report with clinical and epidemiological evolution data of workers, contemplating administrative and technical measures to be adopted in demonstrating the causal link between detected examination changes and the performed activity. The measures proposed by the Occupational Physician must be presented and discussed with the PPRA coordinators, those responsible for ergonomic improvements in the company, and members of the Internal Committee for Prevention of Accidents and Harassment (CIPA).

36.12.7 In addition to the provisions in NR-7, the Annual PCMSO Report must detail the number and duration of work absences, worker complaint statistics, statistics of changes found in clinical evaluations and complementary examinations, indicating the respective sectors and workstations.

36.12.8 If occupational diseases or worsening are detected through medical examinations, including those defined in NR-7, or alterations revealing any dysfunction of an organ or biological system are verified through medical examinations contained in Tables I and II and item of NR-7, even without symptoms, the coordinating or responsible Occupational Physician must:

a) Issue the Occupational Accident Communication (CAT);

b) Recommend, when necessary, worker removal from risk exposure or work;

c) Refer the worker to Social Security to establish the causal link, assess incapacity, and define social security conduct regarding work;

d) Adopt control measures in the work environment.

36.12.9 The employer must proceed, as per PCMSO coordinator guidance, when necessary, to functionally reassign the worker to an activity compatible with the degree of incapacity presented.

36.12.10 Criteria and mechanisms for evaluating the effectiveness of implemented preventive measures must be established, considering the data obtained in evaluations and studies conducted and occupational health medical control.

36.13 Organization of Work

36.13.1 For workers performing activities in artificially cold environments and those moving goods from warm or normal environments to cold and vice versa, a minimum twenty-minute rest period must be provided after one hour and forty minutes of continuous work, according to Article 253 of the CLT. Artificially cold is considered when the temperature is below 15ºC in the first, second, and third climatic zones, 12ºC in the fourth zone, and 10ºC in the fifth, sixth, and seventh zones, according to the official map of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

36.13.2 For workers performing activities directly in the production process, from reception to dispatch, requiring repetitive and/or static or dynamic muscle overload of the neck, shoulders, back, and upper and lower limbs, psychophysiological breaks distributed at least according to the following table must be provided:

Table 1

Working Hours – Tolerance Time for Break Application – Break Time

  • Up to 6h – Up to 6h20 – 20 MINUTES
  • Up to 7h20 – Up to 7h40 – 45 MINUTES
  • Up to 8h48 – Up to 9h10 – 60 MINUTES If the working hours exceed 6h20, excluding the time for changing uniforms and moving to the work sector, the break time for the working hours of up to 7h20 must be observed. If the working hours exceed 7h40, excluding the time for changing uniforms and moving to the work sector, the break time for the working hours of up to 8h48 must be observed. If the working hours exceed 9h10, excluding the time for changing uniforms and moving to the work sector, a ten-minute break must be provided after 8h48 of working hours. If the working hours exceed 9h58, excluding the time for changing uniforms and moving to the work sector, ten-minute breaks must be provided every fifty minutes worked. The company must measure the time for changing uniforms and moving to the work sector and record it in the PPRA or ergonomic study reports. If the company does not record the time indicated in the documents mentioned in item, the worker’s time records are presumed for applying the table provided in Table 1 of item 36.13.2. The individual break periods, distributed as per Table 1, must be at least ten minutes and a maximum of twenty minutes. Break distribution must be such that it does not fall within the first hour of work, contiguous to the meal break, and at the end of the last hour of the working hours.

36.13.3 When the situations provided in items 36.13.1 and 36.13.2 occur simultaneously, cumulative application of the breaks provided in these items is not allowed.

36.13.4 The breaks provided in this NR must be considered as effective work.

36.13.5 To ensure that the breaks allow psychophysiological recovery of workers, the following requirements must be observed:

a) The introduction of breaks cannot be accompanied by an increase in individual cadence;

b) The breaks provided in item 36.13.1 must be compulsorily taken outside the work areas, in environments offering thermal and acoustic comfort, availability of benches or chairs, and potable water;

c) The breaks provided in item 36.13.2 must be compulsorily taken outside the workstations, in locations with availability of benches or chairs and potable water.

36.13.6 Participation in any form of physical activity, when offered by the company, can only be performed during one of the intervals designated for breaks, participation is not mandatory, and refusal to participate is not punishable.

36.13.7 A clock must be easily visible to workers in the rest area so they can monitor break times.

36.13.8 The provision of snacks during breaks is optional, subject to sanitary requirements.

36.13.9 Exiting workstations to meet workers’ physiological needs must be allowed at any time, regardless of taking breaks.

36.14 Activity Organization

36.14.1 Technical engineering, organizational, and administrative measures must be adopted to eliminate or reduce risk factors, especially repetitive upper limb movements. Employers must develop a schedule with deadlines for implementing measures to promote improvements and, whenever possible, adjustments in the production process in identified risk situations.

36.14.2 Task organization must be based on studies and procedures to meet the following objectives:

a) The required cadence for upper and lower limb movements must not compromise health and safety;

b) Performance requirements must be compatible with workers’ capacities to minimize static and dynamic physical efforts that may compromise their health and safety;

c) The pace of the activity must be less strenuous and more comfortable for workers;

d) Facilitate communication between workers, workers and supervisors, and with related sectors.

36.14.3 The company must have a workforce compatible with production demands and requirements, as well as mechanisms to address worker absences and production volume increases, so as not to cause excessive overload on workers.

36.14.4 Significant changes in the production process impacting workforce sizing must be carried out with the participation of the Specialized Service in Occupational Health and Safety (SESMT) and CIPA, together with immediate supervisors.

36.14.5 In the organization of the process and production line speed, the required temporal variability for different production demands and products must be considered, accounting for at least the necessary times to meet the following tasks:

a) Knife sharpening/honing;

b) Table cleaning;

c) Other complementary tasks to the main task, such as changing workstations, changing equipment, and adjusting seats.

36.14.6 Productivity monitoring mechanisms or other production aspects cannot be used to accelerate the individual work pace beyond safe limits.

36.14.7 Alternation The employer must implement task alternation within the daily working hours, considering hygienic-sanitary aspects, to meet at least one of the following situations:

a) Alternation of working positions, such as sitting and standing positions;

b) Alternation of the muscle groups used;

c) Alternation with tasks that do not require repetitiveness;

d) Reduction of postural demands, such as excessive elevation, flexion/extension of body segments, excessive radial-cubital deviations of the wrists, among others;

e) Reduction or minimization of frequent static and dynamic efforts;

f) Alternation with tasks where environmental exposure to noise, humidity, heat, cold is more comfortable;

g) Reduction of loading, handling, and lifting loads and weights;

h) Reduction of monotony. Task alternation must be performed, whenever possible, between tasks with cadence established by machines, conveyors, norias, and other tasks where the worker can freely determine their work pace. Workers must be trained for the different tasks they will perform. Alternation must be defined by SESMT professionals and implemented with the participation of CIPA and involved workers. SESMT and the company’s Ergonomics Committee, if present, must evaluate the benefits of implemented alternation and monitor the effectiveness of procedures in reducing risks and worker complaints, with worker participation. Alternation does not replace psychophysiological recovery breaks provided in this NR.

36.14.8 Psychosocial Aspects Direct supervisors of industrial area workers must be trained to seek in their activities:

a) Facilitate the understanding of the responsibilities and duties of each role;

b) Keep open communication so workers can clarify doubts about their activities;

c) Facilitate teamwork;

d) Know the procedures to provide assistance in case of emergency or illness;

e) Encourage fair and respectful treatment in personal relationships in the work environment.

36.15 Ergonomic Work Analysis

36.15.1 Ergonomic work analyses must be carried out to assess the adaptation of working conditions to workers’ psychophysiological characteristics and to support the implementation of necessary measures and adjustments as provided in NR-17.

36.15.2 Ergonomic work analyses must include the following steps:

a) Discussion and dissemination of results with workers and involved hierarchical levels, as well as presentation and discussion of the document in CIPA;

b) Specific ergonomic recommendations for evaluated workstations and activities;

c) Evaluation and review of implemented interventions with the participation of workers, supervisors, and managers;

d) Evaluation and validation of the effectiveness of implemented recommendations.

36.16 Health and Safety Training and Information

36.16.1 All workers must receive information about work-related risks, their potential causes, effects on health, and preventive measures. Supervisors whose activities directly influence the operational production line must be informed about:

a) Existing risks;

b) Possible consequences of risks for workers;

c) The importance of managing problems;

d) Communication means adopted by the company in the employee-employer relationship. Workers must be trained and sufficiently informed about:

a) Work methods and procedures;

b) Proper use and risks associated with the use of equipment and tools;

c) Postural variations and manual operations that help prevent musculoskeletal overload and reduce fatigue, specified in the EWA;

d) Existing risks and control measures;

e) Use of PPE and its limitations;

f) Emergency actions. Workers performing cleaning and disinfection of materials, equipment, and workplaces must, in addition to the above, receive information about possible risk factors of activities, when applicable, about:

a) Physical, chemical, and biological environmental agents;

b) Fall risks;

c) Biomechanical risks;

d) Risks generated by machines and their components; e) Use of equipment and tools.

36.16.2 Information and training must include at least the following items:

a) Basics about risk factors for health and safety in activities;

b) Preventive measures indicated to minimize work-related risks;

c) Information about risks, signs, and symptoms of health damage that may be related to sector activities;

d) Instructions to seek clinical care in the company’s or outsourced medical service whenever there are perceptions of signs or symptoms that may indicate health damage;

e) Safety information on the use of chemical products, when necessary, including at least data on the products, degree of harmfulness, contact form, storage procedures, and proper usage;

f) Information on the correct use of furniture and equipment adjustment mechanisms at workstations, including guidance for postural alternation.

36.16.3 In all stages of work processes with animals before sanitary inspection services, workers must be provided with information about:

a) Correct ways and appropriate locations for approach, contact, and immobilization;

b) Personal and environmental hygiene methods;

c) Precautions related to communicable diseases.

36.16.4 Admission training must be conducted for at least four hours. Annual periodic training with a minimum duration of two hours must be conducted.

36.16.5 Workers must receive additional instructions to mandatory training when new methods, equipment, changes in processes, or procedures are introduced that may involve new risk factors or significant alterations.

36.16.6 The development of content, execution, and evaluation of training results in OHS must involve:

a) A company representative with technical knowledge of the production process;

b) Members of the Specialized Service in Occupational Health and Safety, if available;

c) Members of the Internal Committee for Prevention of Accidents and Harassment (CIPA);

d) Occupational Health Medical Control Program coordinator;

e) Environmental Risk Prevention Program coordinators. The employer must provide workers with material containing at least the main topics covered in training and, when requested, make it available to the union representative. The union representation can submit suggestions for improvements in company-provided training, and these suggestions must be analyzed.

36.16.7 OHS information must be made available to outsourced workers.