Ergonomics issues among sewing machine operators in the textile manufacturing industry in Botswana.Work. 2011; 38(3):279-89.WORK
Universally musculoskeletal disorders are among the leading causes of low productivity in today's work environment. The situation is reportedly even worse in developing countries with appalling working conditions in many industries. In addition, there is often an acute lack of awareness of ergonomics issues, education and training programmes, and certification within developing countries. Numerous studies internationally have highlighted musculoskeletal risk factors associated with the textile industry and garment-making jobs because of highly repetitive work in awkward work postures.
The objective of this study was to identify and describe possible ergonomics deficiencies in the workstation of sewing machine operators in a textile industry in Botswana as well as their perception of workload and bodily discomfort.
This study focused on one textile manufacturing factory in Botswana where 157 female sewing machine operators were recruited as participants.
A modified Corlett and Bishop body map questionnaire and the NASA TLX were administered and relevant anthropometric and workplace layout measurements were collected.
The results of the study revealed a high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders.
Back, neck and shoulder discomfort are highly prevalent among these sewing machine operators. This study proposes intervention strategies including the re-design of the workstations and seating and the provision of training in basic ergonomics principles for improving the work-life of these operators and provides a base for further research on the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among sewing machine operators in developing countries.