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- Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa
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- Volume 24, Issue 1, 2012
Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Volume 24, Issue 1, 2012
Volume 24, Issue 1, 2012
Author Candice ChristieSource: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 24 (2012)More Less
What is the cost of knowledge? This is an interesting question and a question which has recently been the topic of much debate. It all started with Cambridge mathematician Professor Tim Gower refusing to neither publish in a particular publishing house's journals nor, peer-review for them largely because of the cost of accessing information. He appealed to other academics to support him in his endeavour to create a more open platform for the distribution of academic text. As a consequence, many editors of top earning journals resigned and the Wellcome Trust announced plans to withhold funding unless researchers made their publications freely available.
Source: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 24, pp 2 –10 (2012)More Less
Background : A South African study illustrated that the school computer chair was the least ergonomic aspect of a school computer workstation and this may explain why computer usage was the only predictor of cervical pain among high school students (Smith et al. 2007). An alarming percentage of South African learners do not match the usual school chair dimensions according to accepted criteria for chair height, depth and width. This implies that the majority of students are sitting in chairs that are both too short and too shallow for their body dimensions (Van Niekerk et al. 2011). Method : The sample included all commercially available adjustable chairs, distributed in the Cape Metropole area and which are being sold for R500 or less. The seat height, depth and width was measured and matched to the students' anthropometric measurements. Results : Only the height measurement of one chair matched more than 95% of the students. None of the chairs showed a match for all of the dimensions. Conclusion : The findings of this study indicate that even if schools want to improve the chair profile, they will not be able to do so as no commercial chair matched the students' anthropometric measurements.
Author J.L. LuSource: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 24, pp 11 –24 (2012)More Less
The electronics industry represents the highest dollar earning industry in the Philippines for several years now. Women are the backbone of the multi-billion electronic worldwide industry. This study investigated the working conditions of women workers pertaining to health hazard exposures and nature of job in electronics industries in the Philippines. This was a cross sectional study involving 13 electronics industries in the Philippines and 348 women workers. Methods included survey questionnaire for workers, survey for the industries and industrial hygiene measurements. Results showed that illumination, noise, heat, ventilation, humidity and dust all exceeded the threshold limit value. Females dominated the labour force in the electronics industries consisting of 72.3% compared to only 27.7% males. The most important aspect of this project is its eventual implications for policy and program formulation and industry evaluation.
Source: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 24, pp 25 –39 (2012)More Less
An optimum stature-bush height ratio (SBHr) and its interrelationship with different physiological variables and on-field productivity of tea pluckers were determined. The regression equation derived from studies with 202 pluckers indicated that the optimum SBHr varies between 1.5 to 1.7 and pluckers within this range of optimum SBHr showed maximum plucking efficiency. Any change of this optimum ratio, high or low was found to affect the total yield (TY) of a plucker. The regression equation derived between optimum SBHr (1.34 - 2.26) and other physiological variables (n = 17) indicated that there exists a negative relationship between optimum SBHr and heart rate (85.00 - 112.00 bt.min-1). Similarly, a negative relationship was also found between SBHr and body part discomfort frequency severity (BPDFS) (44.00 - 58.00) (n=17). Regression analyses further indicated that there exists a positive relationship between BPDFS and heart rate (n=17). Prediction analyses suggest that there were good associations between the predicted and observed values of all the different variables (r = 0.77 to r = 0.98). It is envisaged that determination of optimum SBHr of pluckers is critical to improve their performance (TY) by reducing both physical discomfort and physiological demands.
Match between school furniture dimensions and pupils' anthropometric characteristics in South-Western Nigeria : case studySource: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 24, pp 40 –53 (2012)More Less
The design of tools, equipment, machines, furniture, clothing and facility layout depends on the principles of anthropometry. This is to reduce accident and overuse syndromes in order to promote productivity as well as safety and wellbeing. Meanwhile the anthropometry data are not readily available. This study examined the suitability of school furniture to the anthropometric characteristics of primary school pupils in selected schools in the South-Western Nigeria. Eight hundred and sixty four (864) children, between the ages 5-11 years of age were divided into 3 groups on the basis of the furniture size being used. Their anthropometry was carried out, and data obtained were related to the furniture dimensions while the match percentages were computed. The results revealed a low percentage of match between the furniture dimensions (seat height 31.2%, seat depth 29.0%, desk height 22.1% and underneath desk height 30.7%) and the anthropometry data. Based on this, it is recommended that pupils should be given the chance to choose the furniture that fits their body size among different sizes of furniture.