Port work activities involve loading procedures, unloading, transport and storage of goods, such as container movement, liquids, solids, fractionated products and roll on/roll off, as well as pilotage, workboat and tug operation, ship repairs vessel traffic management and similar marine activities.
Dock workers are usually exposed to stressful and dangerous working conditions. Commonly shift work (morning, afternoon, night) can impact in sleep deprivation, misalignment of circadian rhythms, drowsiness and performance deficits. Noise, vibrations, dust, wind and tide are commonly occurring in ports. Workers who performs handwork and requires physical strength to carry out activities is prone to musculoskeletal disorders.
Beyond the physical issue of the port work, the mental issue, in relation to the demand of attention and concentration at work is important as workers need to be always alert. High physical and mental demands, beyond the capacity of individuals, contribute to build a negative work environment, thus there is a need to develop joint strategies between employees and the management of port work, to increase the physical and mental well-being when carrying out tasks.