Ergonomics SA https://www.ajol.info/index.php/esa <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="http://reference.sabinet.co.za/sa_epublication/ergosa">http://reference.sabinet.co.za/sa_epublication/ergosa</a> </p> Ergonomics Society of South Africa en-US Ergonomics SA 1010-2728 Mismatch between classroom furniture dimensions and anthropometric measures of public primary school children in Ibadan, Nigeria https://www.ajol.info/index.php/esa/article/view/235812 <p>This study explored the compatibility of classroom furniture with the anthropometric parameters of public primary school children in Ibadan. The study involved 900 primary school children (aged 5 – 13 years) randomly selected from one school. The students’ anthropometric parameters and the school furniture dimensions were measured using Cescorf Sliding Broad-blade Caliper and metallic tape respectively. Frequency tables were used to summarise mismatches and compatibility. All participants in the 5 – 7-year-old group had mismatches between popliteal height/seat height, buttock to popliteal length/seat depth, and sitting elbow height/seat to desk height. Percentage mismatches among 8 – 10-year-old participants were popliteal height/seat height (91.6%), buttock to popliteal length/seat depth (70.67%), and sitting elbow height/seat to desk height (90%). Percentage mismatches among 11 – 13-year-old participants were popliteal height/seat height (73%), buttock to popliteal length/seat depth (51.33%), and sitting elbow height/seat to desk height (74.33%). There was a considerable mismatch between the students’ anthropometric dimensions and the dimensions of the school furniture. Such mismatches may promote improper sitting posture among children which may increase their probability of developing back pain and affect their learning capabilities.</p> Kamorudeen Abiola Badmos Chiedozie James Alumona Babatunde O.A. Adegoke Copyright (c) 2022 2022-11-09 2022-11-09 33 1 10.4314/esa.v33i1.2 Prevalence and associated risk factors of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and physiological stress among the female brick molders of West Bengal, India https://www.ajol.info/index.php/esa/article/view/238410 <p>Objective: Women play a significant role in the Indian economy and are regarded as the backbone of the brickfield industry where they face a variety of stressors that predispose them to increased risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. The present study aimed to estimate the prevalence of upper limb musculoskeletal disorders and physiological stress compared to a control group. Methods: The Nordic Modified Questionnaire (NMQ) was completed by 85 women brick molders to assess feelings of discomfort (pain) in different parts of the body. Furthermore, the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) posture analysis tool explored the risk of upper-limb musculoskeletal disorders (ULMSDs). Handgrip strength was also measured using a handgrip dynamometer, and cardiovascular stresses were assessed by measuring heart rate, blood pressure and lung function parameters. Results: The results of the study revealed that upper limb MSDs are a significant problem among women brick molders, primarily involving the hand (97.6%), shoulder (94.1%), wrist (72.9%) and fingers (56.5%). Subjective discomfort ratings among the brick molders indicated pain (96.5%), followed by tingling (90.6%), numbness (88.2%) and stiffness (61.2%) in their hands. The detailed analysis of the RULA score revealed that the upper arms, lower arms and wrists were high-risk areas for MSDs. Soon after completion of work, the participants experienced reductions in the hand-grip strength compared to the control group. Heart rate brick molders as higher in comparison to control group, just after the completion of work. However, there was no significant change in maximum Heart rate (HRmax) and Heart Rate Reserve (HRR) between the two groups, but significant associations were observed in net cardiac cost (NCC) and relative cardiac cost (RCC). Blood pressure measures were higher in the brick molders after work as well Conclusion: Women brick molders engaged continuously in highly repetitive hand-intensive jobs and suffered from discomfort in the upper extremities. The RULA posture analysis results indicated that the working posture of women brick molders were at high risk for MSDs, which requires changes immediately. Female brick molders also presented with reduced lung function values compared to the controls Findings of this study highlight the need for various ergonomic interventions that can be applied to improve the safety of the molders and workplace conditions of the brickfield during molding activities.</p> Banibrata Das Copyright (c) 2022-12-14 2022-12-14 33 1 10.4314/esa.v33i1.3 The prevalence of lower back pain and absenteeism and their associations with self-reported exercise patterns in workers at a South African poultry abattoir https://www.ajol.info/index.php/esa/article/view/238411 <p>Lower back pain (LBP) is the most prevalent musculoskeletal condition in many industries, including the meat-processing industry, with previous research confirming that workers in poultry abattoirs are at risk of developing LBP. Lower back pain is a major cause of sickness absenteeism, and regular exercise is considered beneficial to manage LBP among workers. Little is known about LBP and poultry abattoir workers in South Africa. The purpose of the study therefore was to describe LBP among these workers and explore possible associations between LBP and specific job designations, exercise patterns and sickness absenteeism. A descriptive study with an analytical component was conducted among workers at a poultry abattoir in South Africa. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the data regarding back pain experienced in the previous 12 months. The results indicated a 12-month prevalence of LBP of 77.6% (95% CI 70.6%; 83.3%), while 24.2% had to reduce work activities because of their LBP symptoms. However, more than half of the workers with LBP (59.4%) were not absent from work due to LBP. There was no significant association between LBP and exercises with 40.0% indicating that they exercised on a regular basis. This study indicated a high prevalence of LBP among workers whose job designation has an increased risk for musculoskeletal disorders, as reported in previous research. Work-related factors, such as job designations with repetitive movements should be identified and addressed in the management of LBP. Even though this study did not find a significant association between LBP and exercises, nearly half of workers indicated that they exercise on a regular basis. Additional research is needed to study the effect of exercise on LBP among workers in poultry abattoirs in South Africa.</p> Sarel Kritzinger Willem Kruger Gina Joubert Copyright (c) 2022-12-14 2022-12-14 33 1 10.4314/esa.v33i1.4 Sustainable prevention in construction health and safety (H&S): An economic approach https://www.ajol.info/index.php/esa/article/view/238412 <p>The persistent health and safety (H&amp;S) problem in the construction industry exerts an enormous economic burden on workers, society, and employers. With shrinking budgets, the contribution of H&amp;S to productivity and business profits increasingly influences the decision to implement injury prevention programmes. Despite this, the economic perspective of H&amp;S is missing in public discourse pertaining to injury prevention in developing countries. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of construction professionals in Zimbabwe with regards to the degree of importance of economic factors for preventing / reducing occupational injuries, fatalities, and disease, and the extent to which economic factors / practices are applied in H&amp;S management to prevent / reduce occupational injuries, fatalities, and disease in the construction industry. The quantitative method was adopted for the study, which entailed the completion of a self-administered questionnaire. The data analysis entailed the computation of frequencies, and a measure of central tendency in the form of mean scores (MSs) to enable interpretation of the findings and the ranking of factors. The salient findings of the study are that financial provision, setting realistic production targets and timelines, balancing production economy and H&amp;S objectives, integration of H&amp;S into business plans and responsible procurement are the main economic factors / practices for enhancing sustainable prevention of H&amp;S problems. Despite this, the results show that the economic factors are marginally applied to construction H&amp;S management in Zimbabwe. While the findings are consistent with extant literature, they provide important insights to construction stakeholders relative to the potential source of the persistent H&amp;S problems and the interventions that may be required to improve the H&amp;S situation. To promote the integration of economic thinking into the H&amp;S strategy, there is a need for more awareness and education among construction stakeholders relative to the importance of addressing H&amp;S issues from an economic perspective. Further research is required to develop models and frameworks for assisting construction practitioners to generate the required economic data to inform decision making.</p> Benviolent Chigara John Smallwood Copyright (c) 2022-12-14 2022-12-14 33 1 10.4314/esa.v33i1.5