'n Ergonomiese ondersoek in 'n masjienwerkswinkel in die petrochemiese industrie
Van Niekerk, Judith Elizabeth
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Ergonomics is certainly one of the most important factors, which must be considered in the planning, and layout of building and offices. Working in unnatural and uncomfortable positions increase the physical stress on the human body. As a result of this physical stress there is a decrease in working force and the completion of a task can therefor be difficuh, painful and uncomfortable. By making use of the correct tools and good ergonomics the risk for accidents can be reduced. The main purpose of this study is to identify the ergonomic problems prevailing at present and to give possible solutions and recommendations for the most common problems. A walkthrough-survey was done in the Machine workshop and seven (7) areas were identified: (1) Turning-section A (2) Turning-section B (3) Turning-section C ( 4) Fitting-section ( 5) Valves-section (6) Welding-section (7) Toolroom These ergonomic problems mainly included factors such as the availability of chairs and their height, the height of platforms on which the workers standwhile completing their task, noise levels and general illumination levels. Anthropometric-measurements were used in determining the height of the working surfaces, as well as determining whether they comply with legal standards. Special attention was given to clinical-deficiencies (audiometric) that occur underneath the workers. Attention was given to Emergency procedures and the availability of emergency equipment. Several ergonomic problems were identified during the survey. The fore ( 4) scientific questions that has been asked and answered were: (I) Are all of the general ergonomic criteria inline with prescribed standards, for example chairs, switches, and platforms? Most of the chairs in the Machine shop does not comply with ergonomic standards and is in a poor state. All of these chairs must be replaced with new ones, or the chair must be renovated and corrected according to their specific heights. All of the switches are clearly visible and all emergency switches marked in red. The platforms however vary a lot in height and is in several cases absent. (2) Does the illuminance levels in the Machine shop comply with legal standards? Is it sufficient to prevent accidents? The measured illuminance within the machine shop does not always comply fully with the legal standards; thus it should be stressed that action be taken to correct the illuminance levels. Fluorescent lamps are being used in the Toolroom. The use of these lamps may pose a threat as it may cause stroboscopic effects. (3) Is the average sound levels in the machine shop beneath 85 dB(A)? Does it comply to legal standards? The measured sound levels are only under the legal limit in the turning section B and in the general turning division benaeth the legal 85dB(A). The areas are however marked as Noise zones with the necessary signs applied at the entrances. Turning section Caswell as the Toolroom should, however, be marked as Noise Zones. ( 4) Does the working surface heights comply with the legal standards? Is there any clinical defeciancies that can be linked to this? The working surface heights mainly comply with the legal requirements for medium manual labour but the absence of platforms is of great concern. The General Fitter division needs intensive attention seeing that, even with the addition of 50 mm heigh platforms, the working surface heights still don't comply with legal requirements. Back problems seldom occur. The few cases that were mentioned were due to hobbies or childhood injuries. There are thus no visible clinical defects noticeable. Most of the identified problems can be solved relatively simple and with little cost involved. Solving of the ergonomic problems will lead ta a decrease in physiological and psychological stress of the worker that may have a positive influence on production.
- Health Sciences