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- Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa
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- Volume 19, Issue 1, 2007
Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Volume 19, Issue 1, 2007
Volume 19, Issue 1, 2007
Source: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 19, pp 1 –2 (2007)More Less
Although this first issue of 2007 is only in August, there are numerous positive reasons for this delay. Firstly, we took over the journal from Professor Pat Scott and had to 'learn the ropes' so to speak. We also wanted to put our own unique 'stamp' on the journal; not because we did not approve of the old layout, but because we felt it was necessary to create our own sense of identity. Most of this year was spent setting up our review process, creating a new layout for the journal, sourcing advertising, getting the journal online, and establishing contact with the editorial board. This took a lot longer than we anticipated, but we believe this was necessary in the beginning of our editorialship and we can now work to ensure that a good quality journal is published on a regular basis. Currently the journal is bi-annual, so we will maintain that and ensure you get your second copy before the end of the year. We are exploring several initiatives for the journal that will hopefully add value to the journal and to ergonomics in South Africa (watch this space). We are looking forward to this challenge and hope that we can bring you, the readers, many worthwhile, scientifically sound and interesting papers to read.
Source: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 19, pp 3 –13 (2007)More Less
This study was conducted to assess the impact of employee involvement in plant maintenance on psychological health. The study was conducted at a large pulp and paper manufacturing company. The study was prompted by an observation of distinct employee behavioural changes during the period the factory experienced unusual electricity outages. Engineers would sometimes attend to problems raised by machine operators and consumers of electricity without explaining the cause of the power failure. The study invited 40 machine operators to participate in plant maintenance. The employees voluntarily participated in the study in which they were shown how to deal with cable fault detection, repair and plant maintenance before engaging specialist engineers. Psychosomatic-related health complaints were found to be associated with the frequent and unpredictable power outages at the plant. The findings of this study suggest that the unusual power failures that occurred at the industrial processing plant could be associated with the general health complaints that were reported by the employees. The involvement of employees in plant maintenance could have had a therapeutic impact on perceptions of occupational health and safety.
Author K. HeslopSource: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 19, pp 14 –23 (2007)More Less
The relationship between psychosocial characteristics and sick building syndrome (SBS) was explored among 348 employees occupying two buildings engaged in the public sector in Pretoria, South Africa. One building was characterized as 'sick' (Building B), whilst the other was not a known sick building (Building A). Based on the Environmental Quality Survey and symptom checklist, respondents in the 'sick' building reported significantly higher levels of stress, lower levels of environmental control, lower levels of job satisfaction and lower overall environmental satisfaction. There was a significant relationship between job stress, job satisfaction and overall environmental satisfaction respectively, and the number of SBS symptoms reported by employees in each building. Multiple regression analysis revealed these variables significantly explained the variance in the number of symptoms reported in each building. The associations between psychological and symptoms characteristic of SBS suggest SBS symptoms may be attributed to psychosocial factors, or at least be psychologically mediated.
Source: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 19, pp 24 –29 (2007)More Less
The present cross-sectional study was carried out on male brick field workers (N=92) age 25 to 45 years in order to evaluate their cardiac stress during work by measuring the cardiac stress index (CSI) and to compare the data with a control group (N=60). Physical parameters indicated that the workers were non-obese, non-overweight and thin as per the classification of the World Health Organization. No significant intergroup difference was noticed in resting heart rate but working heart rate and CSI at work were significantly (p<0.001) higher among the working group. There were significantly higher working heart rates and CSI among the brick field workers from 9am to 12 noon as well as from 2pm to 5pm. This was due to their exposure to much higher physical work loads during those times which were carried out under hot conditions (temperature ranging between 36-400°C with relative humidity of 80-90%). This imposed a tremendous heat stress on them. However, after the recess pauses, improvements were noticed in working heart rates and the CSI. In conclusion, it was found that the male brick field workers had significantly higher cardiac stress than their control counterparts. Therefore, ergonomically it can be suggested that the brick field workers must try to work more in the early morning as well as after the sun sets with proper illumination facilities. Furthermore, intermittent breaks of short duration will also be more productive and beneficial to them.
Source: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 19, pp 30 –43 (2007)More Less
Construction is by its very nature a problem in ergonomics requiring work above head height and below waist level. Construction materials are necessarily heavy, and by virtue of shape and / or form, may not engender lifting and handling. Generally, construction in India and South Africa is similar, however, construction in India tends to be more labour intensive and less mechanised than in South Africa. Furthermore, a range of design, procurement and construction interventions impact on ergonomics, which reflects the need for multi-stakeholder contributions thereto, applies to both countries.
This paper reports on findings emanating from comparative surveys conducted among delegates attending seminars in India and South Africa. From a comparative perspective, ergonomic problems are encountered less frequently in India, and the impact of the various stages of a project on construction ergonomics, the extent to which aspects negatively affect construction ergonomics, and the extent to which aspects could contribute to an improvement in construction ergonomics, are rated higher in South Africa than in India.
Salient findings include: bending and twisting, and repetitive movements predominate among ergonomic concerns encountered; structural steel structures, reinforced concrete structures, and roof predominate in terms of the impact of stages of projects on ergonomics; degree of contractor awareness relative to ergonomics, standard of site housekeeping, and contractor planning predominate in terms of the extent to which aspects negatively affect ergonomically safe working procedures, and awareness and safe working procedures predominate in terms of the extent aspects could contribute to an improvement in ergonomics. Despite the differences in mean scores, ergonomics is an issue, and ergonomics related interventions are required in both India and South Africa.
Recommendations include: the inclusion of construction ergonomics in all tertiary built environment education; the consideration of, and reference to, construction ergonomics during all phases of projects; a multi-stakeholder approach to construction ergonomics, and reengineering of the construction process. Furthermore, there is a greater need for increased awareness of construction ergonomics in the Indian built environment.