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- Volume 22, Issue 1, 2010
Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Volume 22, Issue 1, 2010
Volume 22, Issue 1, 2010
Author Candice ChristieSource: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 22 (2010)More Less
The euphoria of the 2010 Soccer World Cup is now over and what a world cup it was. South Africa proved the world wrong and did itself proud - congratulations to the organizing committee and all the South Africans who made our international visitors feel so welcome. Why, you may ask, am I bringing the Soccer World Cup into an ergonomics journal? Well firstly, because I am a proud South African and this is a South African journal, but secondly, because many ergonomists steer clear of sports research considering it the realm of the sports scientist. However, there are important links between the science of sport and the science of work. The most important being that sport for many is their work. I would like to highlight one soccer-specific example from a recent paper in the Journal of Sports Sciences (Reilly, 2005). Very briefly, according to this article, as soccer is a team game, a priority in preparing players for match-play must be to harness their individual capabilities so that the group becomes an effective competitive unit. The paper highlights many individual and team factors that need to be considered (Figure 1). The model suggests that coaches (managers/engineers) need to consider interfacing the demands of the game (tasks) with the capabilities of the players (the workers). Thus, when preparing for competition (work), technical, tactical and physiological requirements must be integrated in a holistic manner.
Ergonomic evaluation of tasks performed by female workers in the unorganized sectors of the manual brick manufacturing units in IndiaSource: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 22, pp 2 –16 (2010)More Less
Manual brick manufacturing units in India, especially in the unorganized sectors, employ a large number of female workers. In the present investigation, an attempt was made to ergonomically evaluate the posture and the musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of the female workers engaged in the brick manufacturing units. Two main types of task are performed by the female workers in the brick fields in the unorganized sectors viz, brick moulding and brick carrying. Modified Nordic Questionnaire and Body Part Discomfort (BPD) scale was applied on these workers to identify the MSDs and the zones of discomfort in different body parts. Four different types of postural analyses viz, OWAS, RULA, REBA and LUBA were done to find out the postural load of the female workers at work. Statistical analyses showed that the zones of maximum discomfort for the female moulders are the low back (9.3±1.45), followed by the calf muscles (8.3±1.09), trunk (8.2±1.33), ankle (8.1±1.73), and wrist (8.0±1.71). On the other hand, the maximum discomfort zones in the brick carriers are the head (9.2±1.63) followed by the neck (8.8±1.21), trunk (8.4±1.61) and low back (8.2±1.59). Thus, immediate ergonomic interventions are needed to prevent the MSDs by correcting the harmful working postures and to reduce their work stress.
Source: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 22, pp 17 –36 (2010)More Less
This paper presents a survey of cybercafes in a developing country to reveal their design pitfalls and propose appropriate solutions to the observed problems based on ergonomic principles. These cybercafes provide Internet services to communities but the concern is to make the work convenient at the computer workplace and comfortable at work thus reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injury and minimising energy expended at work. A survey was conducted in fourteen cybercafes using questionnaires, personal interviews and actual field measurements. Ergonomic analysis revealed that cybercafe chairs are the major pitfalls of the café design : they are often too short with no arm rests and with insufficient backrests. Chairs are also stationary as opposed to being mobile with rollers. Customers' leg positioning under the table is restricted and the workspace is too small. Also, the top of computer monitors often is above eye level for an average height customer. Since very little documentation exists on the subject in developing countries, the work opens a gate of opportunities for those in the cybercafé business with financial constraints to implement standard designs. The work also complements the dearth of expertise in the area since many towns in Nigeria do not have the required expertise for cybercafé design and construction.
Source: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 22, pp 36 –56 (2010)More Less
The industrial developmental potential for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the growth prospects of the national economy of a country cannot be achieved without health and safety practices in the work place (Ahasan, 2002). The casting and forging sectors of the country constitute a considerable proportion of employment (Singh et. al, 2010, www.indiaprwire.com). The present study explores the occupational health and safety and ergonomics issues in small and medium scale casting and forging units of northern India. In this cross-sectional study, a sample of 572 male workers of casting and forging units were involved in assessing the level of occupational health, safety and ergonomics practices in different processes. A comprehensive questionnaire was used to collect the qualitative data regarding work exposure, work schedules, posture, noise reaction, health complaints and addictions, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). The questionnaire was pretested before it was used. The ambient noise, temperature and dust exposure were assessed at different sections like; casting, moulding, forging, grinding, machining, and barreling. The results of the study revealed that 78% of the workers are not using PPE. Hence, the workers are exposed to high noise, temperature and dust. Occupational safety and ergonomics practices are almost missing in most of the processes. The majority of the workers reported musculoskeletal disorders, NIHL and overall health weakness. The study concluded that occupational health and safety is being ignored in these SMEs.