Ergonomic evaluation of tasks performed by female workers in the unorganized sectors of the manual brick manufacturing units in India
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.
Keywords: Manual brick manufacturing, Indian female workers, posture analysis, MSD.