Innovations at Workplace: Improvement of Ergonomics

Karin Reinhold, Piia Tint, Viiu Tuulik, Silver Saarik

Abstract


New physical overload factors (as working in the compulsory position or monotonously, where the strain of muscles is one-sided) have appeared for workers with the growth of information technology and logistics. The monotonous work is also a psychological hazardous factor, so the influence of work methods on workers’ health might be multilateral. The work-world is changing, however the physical overload from lifting weights and manual material handling may not disappear in the near future, as the long supply chain necessary for globalized production means that goods are often produced in one country and consumed in another. A calculation method (MODEL) for the assessment of the ergonomics of manual handling of loads is presented in the study. The results of the use of the method are given in manufacturing, for comparison in oldsters’ care hospital, where the physical overload is rather high. Innovations have been introduced in the last years. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) connected with monotonous work are medically examined for garment workers. In parallel, the questionnaire for assessment of mental strain of workers was used. There is no mental strain observed in garment workers, but it is rather high for medical personnel. The results show the possibilities to improve the work environment and workers’ health through ergonomic analysis of workplace, good workplace design, education of special trained occupational hygienists and through them the education of blue-collar workers, the use of robot manipulators and roller conveyors, the increase of management interest and acceptance of ergonomics, the build-up of a bridge between planning and production departments.


Keywords


innovation; work environment; risk assessment; ergonomics; garment workers; musculoskeletal disorders.

Full Text: PDF

Print ISSN: 1392-2785
Online ISSN: 2029-5839