Ergonomic Analysis of Rice Basketwork

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Nattaporn RodjanapanuratOrawan Buranruk*

Abstract: A survey of the Thai National Statistical Office in 2012 indicated the number of informal employment was about 24.8 million, which was as high as 62.6% of the total number of employed persons (39.6 million persons) in . Considered by the work regions, the informal employment mostly worked in the Northeast of Thailand, approximately 41.5% of all informal workers. In general, these workers are rice farmers who involve rice cultivation processing as their main occupation. Previous studies found most of them to have rice basketwork as the major supplement of career. Most tasks in rice basketwork are performed with prolonged sitting on the floor and using repetitive movements of hands, fingers, wrists and shoulders for more than 6 hours a day, were likely to increase the musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). A task analysis was conducted on basketwork tasks at a large area in the Khon Kaen and was then used to structure a job screening for ergonomics-related risk factors. The basketry process was divided in to six steps, including: 1) scrape bamboo skin, 2) cut a piece of bamboo, 3) tear strips of bamboo, 4) sharpen the bamboo, 5) weave the strips of bamboo and, 6) form the rice basket. The activities in each step were associated with different tools, for example, some steps included using a knife to slit bamboo or a bamboo cylinder for lifting. Subjective ratings of risk of injury, as part of job screening, were then made for each basketry step in each body part, focusing on motion, force, and posture. The screening tool used in this study was based on the Hand Activity Level (HAL) and Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) methodologies. The screening results revealed worker exposure to repetitive motion, high forces and extreme postures at the neck, shoulders, hands, and legs when performing in each step of basketry. The results indicated the basketwork procedure to pose ergonomics risk to workers. The highest risk was due to awkward work postures. Results also revealed continuously repetitive motion of upper limbs for long periods of time and inappropriately use of load and force at upper body parts. Therefore, this study suggested that ergonomics interventions, using engineering, administration and/or personal protection controls, should be applied in order to reduce risk of occupational injury of informal workers in .

Keywords: basketwork, musculoskeletal disorders, task analysis, job screening

DOI: 10.54941/10018

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