Ergonomics method for prevention of the musculoskeletal discomforts among female industrial workers: physical characteristics and work factors.J Hum Ergol (Tokyo). 1993 Dec; 22(2):95-113.JH
In industrial work, working postures play an important role, separately and combined with other strain factors. The combined effects may be worse than those of single factors. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the body size, work postures and musculoskeletal discomforts between a group of female workers in a pharmaceutical plant and another group in a textile plant. Two hundred workers have participated in the following studies; (i) measuring anthropometric data in the standing and sitting positions, (ii) using the Ovako Working Posture Analysis System (OWAS), and (iii) using the detail Standardized Nordic Questionnaire for analyzing the musculoskeletal troubles in different parts of the body. The investigation has identified five main factors associated with the musculoskeletal discomforts: (i) lack of worker selection and lack of appropriate training to prevent occupational hazards or work-related diseases, (ii) poor ergonomic design of the work place and task including work organization, (iii) poor working postures, (iv) lack of task variation, and (v) insufficient rest breaks. These could be improved by introducing ergonomic interventions for both adjusting the individual work places and the task performed. It is necessary to consider preventive measures for musculoskeletal disorders, especially for female workers in industrially developing countries. Ergonomic aspects of the preventive measures should include: (a) consideration of appropriate worker selection for various works with sufficient training and instruction, (b) ergonomic redesign of work places, and (c) ergonomic considerations in work organization.