Ergonomics SA 2018-01-23T12:00:11+00:00 Mrs June McDougall Open Journal Systems <p><em>Ergonomics SA</em> (esa) provides a medium for publication of material relevant to occupational conditions and needs in Southern Africa at a time of change unparalleled in history. To this end the journal accepts articles in the following categories: research papers, review articles, conceptual theories, methodological articles involving technology for recording and/or analysing humans at work, observational reports from the field, brief research reports/updates, and news and views.</p><p>The editors aim to ensure that professional rigour characterises all published material while recognising that the needs of Southern Africa in this field and of Ergonomics anywhere, are for the generation and dissemination of technical, non-technical, fundamental and applied knowledge. To this end the journal welcomes review papers and encourages contributions to its News and Views section.</p><p>This is the only Ergonomics focussed journal in South Africa and on the African continent. The journal is also accredited with the South African DHET.</p><p>Other websites associated with this journal: <a href=""></a> </p> Editorial 2018-01-23T12:00:02+00:00 Candice Christie No Abstract 2018-01-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Work ability of recyclers: a study with workers of small-sized cities in Brazil 2018-01-23T12:00:03+00:00 Elisabete de Lourdes Baleiro Teixeira Inacio José Luís Garcia Hermosilla Jorge Alberto Achcar Ethel Cristina Chiari da Silva <p>This research aimed to identify the relationship between the work ability index (WAI) of recyclers and their working conditions. To this end, 63 workers from the recycling materials area participated in this quantitative research study. The research took place in three small towns located in São Paulo State, Brazil using the Work Ability Index (WAI) questionnaire. The results show that there were no significant differences (<em>p</em>-value &gt; 0.05) between regions and between the technologies used in the recycling processes (mechanical aid-conveyor). The covariates age, marital status and gender did not show statistical significance (<em>p</em>&gt;0.05) on the responses for the WAI questionnaire. An important additional finding of the research was a positive future outlook by the respondents of the questionnaire - despite the hard work in harmful conditions. The small number of participants in the research, the similarity of work conditions in the three locations and similarity of socio-demographic aspects of the participants may explain part of the results. The research raises some interesting points that may contribute to public policies for recyclers and improvement of work ability knowledge.</p><p><strong>Keywords:</strong> Aging; Work; Recycling; WAI</p> 2018-01-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Rolling mills of West Bengal, India: present scenario and scope for improvement 2018-01-23T12:00:05+00:00 Somnath Gangopadhyay Krishnendu Sarkar Sourav Chongdar <p>The rolling mills of West Bengal are very old and use primitive technologies. The objective of this study was to assess the present working conditions of the rolling mills, especially in relation to workplace safety, and suggest scopes for improvement. Sixteen steel rolling mills were studied. Workplace conditions were assessed using an ergonomics checklist (ILO-IEA), video recordings and still photography. Prevalence of pain at different body parts was assessed through interviews of 52 male workers. Postures during activities were analysed by the Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) posture analysis method. Repetitive movements during work were analysed by the Assessment of Rapid Tasks (ART) tool. The workplace conditions were found to be very poor with very little emphasis given to the safety of the workers. None of the workers were provided with any proper personal protective equipment. The prevalence of MSDs was very high (80%). Through analysis of postures it was revealed that the jobs were rated as ‘moderate’ to ‘high’ risk and change to postures was required as a matter of urgency. There are many indications of the need for ergonomic improvements. The paper also presents some of the ergonomic recommendations that can be applied to improve the safety and workplace conditions of the rolling mills.</p><p><strong>Keywords:</strong> Small scale enterprises; Safety; Musculoskeletal disorders</p> 2018-01-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Ergonomic realities of a Biophilic Construction Site Model 2018-01-23T12:00:07+00:00 Rita Ngozi Obiozo John Smallwood <p>The psycho-traumatic stress factors arising from a construction site lacking psychosocial value and the presence of nature, results in personal harm to workers, and marginalises their performance, and the harmonious cohesion of a workplace as an integrally beneficial natural environment. The research reported on the necessity of psychotherapeutic wellness interventions derived from nature such as the biophilic design concept and fengshui principles as a response to psychosocial risks in construction through the greening of construction sites. The research was empirical in nature involving a field survey and comparative analysis of two similar construction sites in the East (Hong Kong and Vietnam), and validated by similar construction sites in the Northern Cape region of South Africa, which included projects already in progress. The research process included an extensive literature review, case studies, mass observation, and participant observation. The findings established the ergonomic potential of the biophilic design concept of greening construction sites, duly established from the onset of construction throughout the life cycle of the project to also include construction workers on site, and not only targeted solely for end users. The Biophilic Construction Site Model (BCSM) should be included in the CMBOK because of its relevance to worker well-being and effective proactive performance, and should also be included in the curricula of tertiary construction management education.</p><p><strong>Keywords:</strong> Biophilia, ergonomics, fengshui, green construction, worker performance</p> 2018-01-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) The effect of physical exertion on volunteers wearing self-contained breathing apparatus during a simulated rescue activity 2018-01-23T12:00:09+00:00 Siyanda Mthombeni Andrew Makkink Christopher Stein <p>The effects of wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) during a simulated rescue activity were studied in 18 volunteers. Most existing studies have used treadmills to create exertion as opposed to actual simulated activity. Each participant completed a simulated rescue exercise whilst wearing the SCBA. After a minimum period of two weeks, the same participants completed an identical simulated rescue event, this time without the SCBA. Physiological variables that were assessed included heart rate, oxygen saturation (SpO&lt;sub&gt;2&lt;/sub&gt;), tympanic membrane temperature and blood lactate levels as well as time taken to complete the event and opinions of the use of the SCBA. There were no significant differences in the physiological variables measured between control and experimental groups. This is similar to some treadmill studies.</p><p><strong>Keywords:</strong> Self-contained breathing apparatus; physiological effects; simulated rescue activity; personal protective equipment; tympanic temperature</p> 2018-01-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c)