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Ergonomic job analysis: identification of musculoskeletal disorders among selected workers in a fish processing industry in Ghana
2003 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study investigated musculoskeletal disorders, concentrating on 50 fish Cleaners (trimmers) and 27 Sanitation workers. Cleaning task (skinning and polishing) was typified by dressing fish by removing the head, scales and other inedible portions and splitting the fish into boneless fillets. Sanitation work is characterized by collecting of waste, lifting and/ or pushing heavy waste bins and pushing heavy loaded trucks from and to waste dumping site. The study adopted several ergonomics methods to provide a thorough understanding of the tasks, their interaction with workers and incidence and pattern of musculoskeletal complaints among the study groups. Methods used included, Hierarchical Task Analysis: Posture analysis (pen and paper) with RULA and OWAS: interview with PLIBEL:modified NORDIC questionnaire:Job content questionnaire and Future Workshop. Thirty four (34) operations were identified among the two working groups (i.e. cleaners and sanitation workers), of which eleven (11) operations each were identified among skinners and sanitation workers and twelve (12), among polishers. A total of 120 postures were also identified among the study groups, of which thirty three (33), were among skinners, thirty five (35), among polishers and thirty two (32), among sanitation workers. Among sanitation workers, only two (2) operations were suspected to be safe. Among skinners twelve (12) operations needed attention as soon as possible. Of those to be looked into later, attention is necessary since the postures involved were held for a long time. Among polishers, seven (7) operations were identified as requiring attention. One operation which was performed twice during polishing of a single fish need redesign measures immediately. Six others which were performed twice during polishing of a single fish also require redesign attention as soon as possible. For those operations requiring redesign measures in the near future, they might also require early attention since the postures involve were held for a long period. Several other harmful postures such as torso flexion between 20-60o wrist pronation and supination, awkward twisting and bending of the torso were identified. All the 77 subjects suffered high strain (low control over work and high psychological demand) on the job. They all had high support from co workers, but in addition sanitation workers only received low support from supervisors. Neck, shoulder, wrists/hands, low back and lower limbs were the main complaints among cleaners: whereas neck, shoulder, wrists/hands and low and upper back were the main complaints among sanitation workers. Among cleaners, complaints increase with age, duration of service and number of hours per week worked. Except for number of hours per week worked, opposite observation was noted among sanitation workers. No associations (p < 0.05) were also found among demographic and employment variables on one hand and musculoskeletal complaints and the psychosocial concepts on the other hand. neither were relationship (p < 0.05) established among work place psychosocial factors and musculoskeletal complaints. several administrative and engineering measures were proposed to better the work condition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Technology, Work place, Posture, work-related musculoskeletal disorders, work place psychosocial factors, Ergonomics
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-42314ISRN: LTU-EX--03/054--SELocal ID: 056e8a58-5f13-4a58-8eb8-e5f3f1786f52OAI: diva2:1015534
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 15 credits
Educational program
Ergonomics, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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