Musculoskeletal disorders of female workers and ergonomics problems in five different industries of a developing country.J Hum Ergol (Tokyo). 1993 Jun; 22(1):29-43.JH
An ergonomics survey was carried out using interviews based on Standardized Nordic Questionnaires for evaluating musculoskeletal disorders of 1,000 female workers in five different industries in Thailand, viz. garment, fertilizer, pharmaceutical, textile, and cigarette. A checklist used in an ILO study for examining ergonomics problems was used for identifying ergonomics problems. The results show that about 50% of the female workers experienced a high prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms in their lower backs, particularly the textile workers. The musculoskeletal symptoms of each body region were significant in each industry during the last year and the preceding 7 days (p < 0.05). Other ergonomics problems in the survey industries included heavy manual handling, prolonged sitting and standing, awkward work postures, poor machine design and operation, high repetitive and monotonous movements, poor work organization, and unsatisfactory working environments. Based on the results of this survey, it became obvious that ergonomics problems related to occupational health and safety of female workers seem to fall into three categories: (i) poor working practices and workplace programmes without sufficient knowledge of ergonomics principles, (ii) lack of adjustment to local population of imported machinery and equipment and their use, and (iii) lack of appropriate work organization. The findings demonstrate the need and the importance for ergonomics intervention in industrially developing country using low-cost improvements and appropriate training methods. It also indicates that research in ergonomics applications is needed, considering the specific characteristics of the industrially developing country.