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- Volume 18, Issue 2, 2006
Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Volume 18, Issue 2, 2006
Volume 18, Issue 2, 2006
Author Pat ScottSource: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 18, pp 1 –2 (2006)More Less
As I put together this, my last issue as Editor of Ergonomics SA (esa), I reflect back on the past 14 years of the Journal's growth patterns. Like all developmental patterns it has had its strong and weaker stages in both quality and quantity of production. I would like to acknowledge the initiative and drive of the first Editor, Geoff Meese, who published the inaugural issue in 1989.
Approaches to resolve indoor air quality and sick building syndrome complaints amongst office employees : research articleAuthor K. HeslopSource: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 18, pp 3 –12 (2006)More Less
The National Environmental Management Bill (no. 62 of 2002) and related legislation, inter alia, the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act, the Health Act, National Buildings Regulations and the Occupational Health and Safety Act were promulgated with a view to establish parameters for environmental management in South Africa. This legislation, although in its fledgling state, attempts to provide guidelines with respect to ambient air quality standards, and sets targets and objectives for reducing pollutant emissions. Notwithstanding the benefits of these statutory interventions, the enforcement and the concomitant prosecution of offenders appear problematic at present. This research explores a range of alternatives to address and resolve indoor air quality and sick building syndrome, and offers suggestions for collaborative efforts to improve the health, comfort and well-being of building occupants.
A systems approach to the assessment of mental workload : development of a mental workload index : research articleSource: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 18, pp 13 –29 (2006)More Less
The objective of this study was to develop a scientific method for determining the mental workload imposed on train control officers (TCOs) which is objective and quantifiable and stands up to tests of validity and reliability. The method solves an existing operational shortcoming, and could be used as a tool for predicting the mental workload imposed on an operator at a particular train control centre. The method could be applied to manage and improve operational safety in the rail transport environment. A participative approach was followed in the development process. A work group comprising expert users of the system was involved in identifying task factors and assigning weights for task and moderating factors. The newly developed Mental Workload Index (MWLI) consists of three task factors and eleven moderating factors, each with a different weight in terms of its contribution to overall mental workload. The work group performed several iterations to reach final consensus and acceptance of the factors and their respective contributions to the MWLI. The development process is discussed, and the final index with the task and moderating factors is presented. In closing, the value and application of the MWLI is discussed. The MWLI provides an objective method for the assessment and prediction of mental workload in the train control environment.
The impact of voluntary withdrawal from anti-epileptic medication on job performance and workplace safety : research articleSource: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 18, pp 30 –43 (2006)More Less
This study sought to investigate the impact of voluntarily withdrawing from anti-epileptic medication on job performance and workplace safety. A total of 100 employees with epilepsy, working in sheltered workshops, participated in the study. The sample consisted of volunteers employed in the sheltered workshops, 50 in a group who had voluntarily withdrawn from taking their anti-epileptic medication, and 50 in a second group who were still taking their anti-epileptic medication. The results demonstrated depressed job performance indicators in the group that had voluntarily stopped taking anti-epileptic medication. The group with controlled epilepsy (i.e. still taking anti-epileptic medication) had better mental functioning indicators and job performance than the group with uncontrolled epilepsy. In addition, a number of workplace safety statistics differed statistically between the two groups. These results are discussed in relation to reasons for voluntarily withdrawing from anti-epileptic medication, and the role of traditional views towards epilepsy in the rural African context.
A comparative study of cardiovascular loads placed on underground shovelers in the Ranigang Coalfields of West Bengal, India : research articleSource: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 18, pp 44 –49 (2006)More Less
This study assessed heart rate during work and recovery of 20 male coalminers working underground as shovelers, working in haulage. While extraction is going on they are susceptible to a high degree of physical stress which varies according to the nature of their work. Since coal production is highly correlated with the efficiency of their work, an attempt has been made to evaluate their job stress and recovery patterns during their working schedule. The exaggerated workload arising out of self-paced hard work fosters insufficient recovery which accentuates fatigue and brings about a gradual decline in overall performance. Consequently, this job-specific study was undertaken to evaluate the nature of this specific activity, along with the recovery trend of the workers.
A case study of the effect of a low-cost design concrete mixer on reducing human effort : research articleAuthor J. De BeerSource: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 18, pp 50 –55 (2006)More Less
A manually operated concrete mixing device (Roll-a-mix) was developed to address the production problems inherent in mixing concrete by hand. The method to determine the mixing time of concrete by measuring the rate of change in the uniformity of the mixed concrete was used to compare the productivity of the Roll-a-mix to the hand mixing of concrete It is reported that 31.4 % less human energy was spent operating Roll-a-mix, than producing similar acceptable quality concrete by conventional hand mixing. Suggestions are given for further research.