Workplace-based assessment and intervention design for waste sorting tasks in a developing country
FRANCIS J EMMATTY VINAY V PANICKER
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Waste sorting is mainly done manually in developing countries and, the manual sorting of items may result in musculoskeletal disorders among the workers. The present work aims to assess sorting tasks in squatting posture performed by workers in a waste sorting facility in India’s southern part. The study also compares the current work environment with a sorting table proposed as an ergonomic intervention for waste sorting tasks. The study also validates the assessment methodology of employing 5th, 50th, and 95th percentile height subjects to simulate postures and interfacing with 5th, 50th, and 95th percentile digital human models. The critical postures of the workers involved in the sorting task at the sorting facility (pre-intervention and postintervention) were simulated with subjects of 5th (n=2), 50th (n=6), and 95th (n=2) percentile height. Theposture captured using Microsoft Kinect was interfaced to Siemens Jack software for posture analysis and biomechanical evaluation. The assessment revealed that the majority of the biomechanical risks resulted fromthe poorly designed workstation. The proposed intervention improved the posture of the workers and reduced biomechanical risks. Compared to the pre-intervention scenario, the proposed intervention reduced the compressiveforces at L4/L5 by 44%, shoulder flexion moment by 36%, and shoulder abduction moment by 31%. The proposed intervention suits industrial applications in developing countries where sorting/assembly tasks are involved. The assessment methodology of simulation of postures by the percentile height subjects, motion capture of postures using Microsoft Kinect, posture analysis and biomechanical evaluation in digital human modelling is cost-effective.
FRANCIS J EMMATTY1 2 VINAY V PANICKER1
Volume 48, 2023
Continuous Article Publishing mode
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