n Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Employee involvement in power cable fault detection : impact on general health complaints

Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1010-2728



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.

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