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  • 1.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Architecture and Water.
    Design and construction process2006Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Architecture and Water.
    Evaluating concrete casting tasks through ergonomic risk assessment methods2009In: 17th World Congress on Ergonomics: IEA 2009 ; Beijing, August 9 - 14, 2009, Bejing: Chinese Ergonomics Society , 2009Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering.
    Impact of the industrialised construction work on the construction workplace2005In: First International Conference on Lifestyle, Health and Technology: June 1-3, 2005 at Luleå University of Technology, Porsön, Luleå, Sweden, Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2005Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 4. Rwamamara, Romuald
    Participatory ergomimics approach for the reduction of musculoskeletal disorder risks: assessment of relevant literature and interventions2001In: Essays on work organisation and productivity issues, Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2001, p. 37-50Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Architecture and Water.
    Planning the healthy construction workplace through risk assessment and design methods2007Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The construction industry is still one of the highest risk industries as far as work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are concerned. These disorders are the most frequently cited injury to workers, affecting many construction workers in Sweden. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are also of immediate concern to the workers and their families who are adversely affected by these injuries. These injuries are a substantial source of economic drain to the construction industry. Sources of this drain include economic losses incurred from lost or decreased productivity as well as workers compensation costs. Therefore, it is within the best interest of the construction industry to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders from occurring, before they manifest into serious issues of medical, social and economic concern. The purpose of the research presented in this thesis is to increase the understanding of how a healthy construction workplace can be realized through best practices and design methods as prevention strategies. The main objective of this thesis is to identify tools used/usable in construction industry to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders among construction workers. In this doctoral research project, literature review and case studies have been conducted in order to investigate five research questions and thus fulfil the research purpose. The theoretical framework in this thesis is made of occcupational biomechanics, health and safety management, risk management of occupational health, construction planning, and design for health and safety. The common denominator shared by these theories is the planning of a healthy construction workplace. The research presented in this thesis contributes both to theory and practice in five different areas: The first area is benchmarking the good construction practices to promote musculoskeletal health; this consists of identifying and describing strategies and activities which have proved to be successful in the fight against the development of work-related musculoskeletal injuries in the construction industry; the results of this study allowed formulation of recommendations substantial to the injury prevention or reduction in the construction working environment. The second area of contribution is the risk analysis of repetitive tasks in the industrialized house construction context; this study resulted into a critical look at risk assessment and analysis of workload in an industrialized construction process, using ergonomic tools, situations of high workload and risk for musculoskeletal injury are identified. The third contribution area is a risk analysis of work tasks in a bridge construction process using prefabrication; the study highlights the benefits of using innovative construction methods such as prefabricated steel reinforcement components and self-compacting concrete; in terms of the construction site environment, improved manual material handling and elimination of vibration adverse effects were the benefits. The fourth contribution area is in a form of a conceptual model which contributes to the theory of design as an injury prevention strategy in construction; this conceptual model is the result of the literature study and site observations perceived as insights for reducing work-related musculoskeletal injuries through designing health and safety in construction, the model presented is built on a participatory design process involving all key stakeholders working as an integrated team, risks can be eliminated, or reduced, by changes in design specification. The last and fifth contribution of the thesis is practical way to deal with the problem of planning for a healthy construction work environment; a case study on different construction projects sought to understand how potential health and safety risks can be identified and their solutions or corrective measures implemented as a coordinated effort of all key stakeholders through design visualization tools. The research results suggest that planning for a healthy construction workplace is possible through the implementation of the industry's best practices of the day, keeping up with the use of innovative construction methods such as prefabrication, yet not taking the health and safety benefits of these methods for granted, thus risk assessment and analysis of workload should remain a requirement in order to provide solutions and communicate them effectively between stakeholders through virtual design.

  • 6.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Architecture and Water.
    Risk assessment and anlysis of workload in an industrialised construction process2007In: Construction Information Quarterly, ISSN 1469-4891, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 80-85Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With the increasing industrialisation of the construction process in Sweden, the intensity and the nature of production activities are changing due the application of cost-effective and time-saving industrialised production methods such as off-site prefabrication and on-site assembly. However, the impact of these new production methods on safety and health of the worker has not been methodically investigated and is often assumed to be positive for the construction workplace. In this paper, the workload associated with the assembly/building of inner walls was analysed in terms of workers musculoskeletal system loading. The goal of the study reported here was to identify how the assembling of prefabricated gips walls affects the musculoskeletal system of construction workers.The methods used in the study are the QEC system (Quick Exposure Check for work-related musculoskeletal risks) and ErgoSAM which is a method that identifies situations of high workload and risk for musculoskeletal injury. The results obtained using QEC analysis showed that the inner walls assembly work cycle does entail some physically demanding work tasks, namely the lifting of gips wall elements which was found to have high exposure levels; drilling holes into concrete floors and ceilings and attaching (with screws) wall elements to the concrete floor and ceiling were found to have low exposure levels when these work tasks are not performed at a high pace. ErgoSAM analysis results have indicated at what time of the work cycle, what work posture and work tasks are risky to the workers musculoskeletal system. The use of both methods to analyse the impact of a new industrialised system has a lot of potential in identifying health risks and thus having a basis on which these risks can be planed out in the design of an effective and healthy construction workplace.

  • 7.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Architecture and Water.
    Successful strategies for the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders among Swedish construction workers2006In: Meeting diversity in ergonomics: proceedings IEA 2006 congress / [ed] R.N. Pikaar; E.A.P. Koningsveld; P.J.M. Settels, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Architecture and Water.
    The healthy construction workplace: best practices in the Swedish construction industry to prevent work-related musculosketal disorders among construction workers2005Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis focuses on the reduction of work-related musculoskeletal disorders through the successful strategies contributing to a healthy construction workplace. The aim of this work is to contribute towards the understanding of a healthy construction workplace brought about by the best practices implemented by large construction sites. From a preventive perspective, a model for the construction workplace system balance can be used to identify strategies. Specifically this is aimed at: Identifying and describing the best practices conducive to work- related musculoskeletal health in the construction work environment.Providing recommendations to contribute to healthy construction workplaces, thus improving work-related musculoskeletal health and preventing the musculoskeletal disorders among construction workers.To identify the best practices in the Swedish industry to prevent work- related musculoskeletal disorders; several construction projects were investigated using interviews, site observations and company documents study. In every construction project, the investigation focused on six areas of the construction workplace system balance, namely the planning (including the pre-production planning), the technology used at the construction site, the work organization, the work environment, the work tasks performed and the individual worker. The results have shown that there are numerous best practices both in the pre-production and the production phases of the construction projects. Although, best practices were identified in the different areas of the construction workplace system balance, there seems to be a significant need for good practices in Systematic Work Environment Management (SWEM) and the implications of some payments methods on the production schedule had left much to be desired as far as construction workers' work-related musculoskeletal health is concerned. Limitations of the results are that there has been poor participation of the designers and the developers of the different construction projects investigated in the research study. Also, the participation of subcontractors' managers in this study was unexpectedly low. Another limitation of the study was a cultural attitude of interview respondents who did not often think that they had anything better than another construction workplace. This made it hard to ascertain the best practices from the interview participants. Based on the results and conclusions in this thesis a number of general recommendations are given: To increase the involvement of developers in the implementation of the work environment plan. Consider educating both the management and the employees about SWEM through workshops, and make an evaluation of SWEM with a procreative measurement. Housekeeping responsibilities should be spelt out in contracts and tender documents, and these documents should define the responsibilities. The management should consider providing opportunities to workers for physical fitness/training during work hours.

  • 9.
    Rwamamara, Romuald A.
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Architecture and Water.
    Smallwood, John J.
    Ergonomics in construction, specifically in industrially developing countries2009In: Ergonomics in Developing Regions: Needs and Applications, Boca Raton: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group , 2009, p. 307-322Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Architecture and Water.
    Holzmann, Peter
    Private Consultancy.
    Reducing the human cost in construction through design2007In: Ergonomics for a future: NES2007, Lysekil Sweden : NES2007 abstracts / [ed] Cecilia Berlin; Lars-Ola Bilgård, Lund: Nordic Ergonomics Society, 2007Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Architecture and Water.
    Holzmann, Peter
    Private Consultancy.
    Reducing the human cost in construction through designing for health and safety: development of a conceptual participatory design model2007In: World of Construction Project Management: WCPM 2007, second international conference : October 24-26, 2007 Delft, The Netherlands. / [ed] H.A.J. de Ridder; J.W.F. Wamelink, Delft: TU Delft , 2007Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The construction industry is still one of the highest risk industries as far as Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders are concerned. Literature reviews written on and observation of the health and safety management of construction projects show that there are windows of opportunities for professional designers to contribute to safety and health of workers in construction and maintenance processes. A model for a participatory design is proposed to show the paramount importance of partnerships between various stakeholders in the preparation of a construction project to result in a healthy and safe construction workplace over and above an enhanced productivity and quality.

  • 12.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Architecture and Water.
    Lagerqvist, Ove
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Johansson, Bo
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human Work Science.
    Kaminskas, Kazys Algirdas
    Vilnius Gediminas Technical University.
    Evidence-based prevention of work-related musculoskeletal injuries in construction industry2010In: Journal of Civil Engineering and Management, ISSN 1392-3730, E-ISSN 1822-3605, Vol. 16, no 4, p. 499-509Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many construction work tasks are physically very strenuous and the incidence of work‐related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) among construction workers is considerably higher than those in most other occupations. The aim of the study presented in this paper was to contribute to understanding a healthy construction site brought about by the best practices implemented by large construction sites to prevent WMSDs. A triangulation method made of interviews, site observations and studies on company's documents was used to identify the best practices in 13 several construction projects. A range of the best practices both in the pre‐construction and construction phases of the projects were identified in six different areas of the balance of the construction workplace system; however, there seems to be a significant need for good practices in the management of a systematic work environment. It is now established that Swedish construction industry has several best practices to protect work‐related musculoskeletal health. However, inadequate worker participation and the neglect of health and safety issues by designers in the planning process as well as the implications of some remuneration methods on the production schedule were perceived as detrimental to the musculoskeletal health of construction workers.

  • 13. Rwamamara, Romuald
    et al.
    Lagerqvist, Ove
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Johansson, Bo
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human Work Science.
    Kaminskas, Kazys Algirdas
    Vilnius Gediminas Technical University.
    Prevention of work-related musculoskeletal injuries in construction industry2010In: 10th International Conference on Modern Building Materials, Structures and Techniques: Vilnius, Lithuania 19 - 21 May 2010 / [ed] E.K. Zavadskas; P. Vainiunas, Vilnius, 2010, p. 1292-1296Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many construction work tasks are physically very strenuous, and the incidence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) among construction workers is considerably higher than that in most other occupations. The aim of the research project presented in this paper was to contribute to an understanding of a healthy construction workplace brought about by the best practices implemented by large construction sites. From a preventive perspective, a model for the construction workplace system balance was used to identify the successful strategies. To identify the successful strategies in the Swedish industry to prevent WMSDs, several construction projects were investigated through interviews, site observations and company's documents study. In every construction project, six areas, (i.e., planning, technology used, work organisation, physical work environment, work tasks and the individual worker) of the construction workplace system balance were investigated. Numerous successful strategies both in pre-production and production phases of construction projects were identified in the six different areas of the construction workplace system balance; however there seems to be a significant need for good practices in the systematic work environment management. Further, the implications of some remuneration methods on the production schedule were perceived as detrimental to musculoskeletal health of construction workers.

  • 14.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering.
    Norberg, Håkan
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Lagerqvist, Ove
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Using visualisation technologies for design and planning of a healthy construction workplace2010In: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 10, no 3, p. 248-266Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to investigate how health and safety gains and improvements of the construction workplace can be made through the use of three-dimensional (3D) and four-dimensional (4D) visualization technologies. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology used in the paper was a combination of semi-structured interviews with five construction project planners from three construction projects and observations of a 4D model used in one of the three projects. Findings – The findings of the paper have shown a great potential for 3D and 4D visualization in terms of communicating construction information as well as the health and safety risks in the design process where clash detection, work tasks sequence, workspace congestion can be identified by project stakeholders who are thus able to plan for alternative solutions to reduce or eliminate rework, heavy material handling and repetitive and awkward postures which expose workers to musculoskeletal injury risk. Research limitations/implications – The 3D and 4D models as they are currently used in the design of construction projects, particularly in the three projects investigated in this paper, still lack the worker reference frame and the visual interaction between the worker and the permanent as well as the temporary works. Originality/value – The paper describes the current and emerging trends in the development of 3D, virtual reality and 4D computer-aided design visualization and simulation, which have affected or are likely to have an impact on construction projects planning in the Swedish construction sector.

  • 15.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering.
    Simonsson, Peter
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Fitting steel reinforcement production methods to workers safety2009Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 16. Rwamamara, Romuald
    et al.
    Simonsson, Peter
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Health and safety in concrete casting processes2009In: Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference, 2009, September 7-9, Albert Hall, Nottingham / [ed] Andrew Dainty, Reading: Association of Researchers in Construction Management , 2009, Vol. 2, p. 1253-1262Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Construction injuries lead to human tragedies, disrupt construction processes and adversely affect the cost, productivity, and the reputation of the construction industry. Therefore, the use of ergonomic production methods to prevent this can have a significant human, social and financial impact. This paper presents a case study of comparative analyses of ergonomic situations for concrete workers performing concrete casting processes. Ergonomic risk assessment methods were used to assess the physical strain, hand-arm vibration and noise affects risks involved in concrete casting work tasks. The combination of technical and managerial factors results in a system where workers are as efficient and safe as possible during their work tasks, and thus, makes the construction work environment sustainable. The preliminary study presented in this paper concludes that the present ergonomic risks emanating from work methods used in the normally vibrated concrete (NVC) casting can be significantly reduced. With the use of self-compacting concrete (SCC) awkward work postures, hand-arm vibration and noise are eliminated. Thus musculoskeletal injuries can be reduced if not eliminated among concrete workers during their concrete casting work tasks.

  • 17.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering.
    Simonsson, Peter
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Self-compacting concrete use for construction work environment sustainability2012In: Journal of Civil Engineering and Management, ISSN 1392-3730, E-ISSN 1822-3605, Vol. 18, no 5, p. 724-734Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many of those working on construction sites are exposed to demanding work loads; construction workers lift and carry heavy materials and work in awkward postures. Occupational injuries and accidents due to poor ergonomics are more common in the construction industry and many times lead to human tragedies, disrupt construction processes and adversely affect the cost, productivity, and the reputation of the construction industry. In Sweden, it is reported that concrete workers have the highest relative work-related musculoskeletal injury frequency. Therefore, the use of ergonomic production methods to prevent this can have a significant human, social and financial impact. Research introduced here presents a case study of comparative analyses of ergonomic situations for concrete workers performing concrete casting processes. Three different ergonomic risk assessment methods were used to assess the physical strain, hand-arm vibration and noise affects risks involved in concrete casting work tasks. The combination of technical and managerial factors results in a system where workers are as efficient and safe as possible during their work tasks, and thus, makes the construction work environment sustainable.The aim of our research is to find practical methods to evaluate and compare two different concrete casting methods from an ergonomic perspective. The focus is on the production of cast-in-place concrete bridge constructions where the traditional concrete casting method is compared with the SCC (Self-Compacting concrete) casting method. To be able to identify work-related musculoskeletal injury risks due to concrete casting work tasks, QEC (Quick Exposure Check for musculoskeletal risks), PLIBEL (Checklist for identification for Ergonomics Hazards) and ErgoSAM (Ergonomic production technology method) methods were used. Ergonomic risks analysis methods QEC, PLIBEL and ErgoSAM have all shown capabilities to evaluate construction work activities and thus determine whether a construction work activity constitutes a musculoskeletal risk to the worker or not before any ergonomic intervention is introduced.As a result the present ergonomic risks emanating from work methods used in the traditional concrete placing can be significantly reduced with the use of self-compacting concrete (SCC) that eliminates awkward work postures, noise and hand arm vibration, thereby reducing if not eliminating musculoskeletal injuries among concrete workers during their concrete casting work tasks.

  • 18.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Architecture and Water.
    Simonsson, Peter
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Ojanen, Johan
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Advantages of industrialized methods used in small bridge construction2010In: Proceedings of IGLC-18: 18th Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction / [ed] Ken Walsh; Thais Alves, Haifa: Technion-Israel Institute of Technology , 2010, p. 569-579Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Evaluating to what extent industrialized production methods used during the steel reinforcement, formwork and concrete casting of small bridges are beneficial to the construction industry. The study evaluates the economical value of the construction of small bridges in terms of design and constructability from a production point of view. Moreover, the health and safety issues of the production processes are considered. The study method used is the internal documents study involved in the construction of the bridges. A comparison between data collected for previous studies on bridge construction projects and data collected from internal company documents will be performed. The study uses an economic analysis to evaluate alternative construction materials, assemblies, and bridge services with the objective to improve project planners or owners' decision making during the course of planning, designing and constructing a bridge. The use of bridge economic analysis to determine the most economically efficient choice among bridge design alternatives when it comes to steel reinforcement, formwork and concrete casting in regard to improved quality and working environment. The study discusses and offers recommendations for a cost effective bridge construction process which reduces waste in the production process and keeps the project schedule.

  • 19.
    Simonsson, Peter
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering.
    Consequence of industrialized construction methods on the working environment2007In: Lean Construction: A New Paradigm for Managing Capital Projects - 15th IGLC Conference, East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2007, p. 302-311Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditionally, the working environment has been poor especially when it comes to steel reinforcement and concrete casting on construction sites. Industrialised construction methods such as self compacting concrete (SCC) casting and prefabricated steel reinforcement are creating a basis for an improved working environment. By using these methods, it is assumed that the cost for sick leaves due to ergonomic injuries and accidents are reduced as health and safety risks inherent to the traditional working methods are decreased. Observations along with video filming and informal interviews were performed. With a sequence-based activity method ErgoSAM, an ergonomic risk analysis was conducted. The analysis showed that industrialised methods reduced ergonomic workload on concrete workers.  The industrialisation of the production process through the introduction of innovative construction methods has benefited the construction workplace environment as well as the customer value in terms of improved material handling, elimination of additional adverse affect on health of handling vibrating tools, reduced on site congestion and reduced over all material costs.

  • 20.
    Simonsson, Peter
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    Ergonomic exposures from the usage of conventional and self compacting concrete2009In: Proceedings IGLC 17: 17th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction / [ed] E. Hirota; Y. Cuperus, 2009, p. 313-322Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of ergonomic production methods in concrete casting does have a significant human, social and financial impact in terms of the reduction of occupational injuries and related injury compensations. This paper presents a case study of comparative analyses of the ergonomic situations for concrete workers casting with two different types of concrete, namely the conventional concrete and the self-compacting concrete (SCC). Analyses were conducted with two methods for the identification of ergonomic hazards; and in comparison to conventional concrete, the analysis results have shown that SCC consistently gave significant improvements in work postures and led to less workload and noise exposure among concrete workers. The combination of lean thinking and ergonomics result in a system where  the worker is as efficient, safe, and comfortable as possible during the concrete casting work process. Material handling plays a significant role in lean construction by keeping the worker at the center and ameliorating many of the ergonomic problems that would otherwise remove the person from the production process. Transportation and unnecessary motion are two of the seven types of wastes that can be significantly reduced with the implementation of an ergonomic production system such as SCC that eliminates awkward work postures and vibrating tools. With the correct ergonomic material/product used in production of concrete structures, waste can be removed from the production system, thus creating an increase in production, decreased costs, an increase in quality of the product and less absence of workers in the future due to less stressful work.

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