Occupational health, safety and ergonomic issues in small and medium sized enterprises an a developing country

Ahasan, Rabiul (2002) Occupational health, safety and ergonomic issues in small and medium sized enterprises an a developing country. PhD thesis, Work Science.

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Official URL: http://herkules.oulu.fi/isbn9514268121/isbn9514268...

Abstract

Data and information accumulated during several years of questionnaire and check-list surveys; site visits and walk-thorough investigations in some small and medium-sized enterprises provided the basis of this thesis. Seven articles are included in this thesis, dealing with workers' physical, physiological, cognitive and psychosocial issues. The data were collected on the target group of workers from different work sites in Bangladesh for a comprehensive assessment of tasks, jobs and ergonomic issues. Jobs and tasks were classified according to the job content and task activity they performed. Most of the subjects were interviewed and some of them volunteered for physiological tests to bring attention to their occupational exposure to potentially strenuous activities in a hot and humid climate. The results showed that their working environment was non-ergonomic, not only because of the work-related problems themselves but also because of stressful tasks, extensive use of muscle force, old machinery, economic constraints, and a lack of enforcement of work regulations and labour legislation. The findings also demonstrated that the workers were associated with an increased risk of occupational hazards due to various local reasons. The results of the case studies give some insight towards a better understanding of health, safety and ergonomics applications that may contribute to bring working society together and initiate a broad-based improvement of the working environment in many developing countries like Bangladesh. The practical concern of this thesis is to improve the design of the workstation as well as to improve a worker's safe manipulation of tools and equipment and control of machinery, critical posture, and so on. This thesis also attempts to contribute the author's own views and suggestions with the hope of drawing workers' and employers' awareness and public attention towards unsafe acts and conditions, and for increasing the implementation of work regulations and labour legislation. In order to discern probable solutions, this thesis implies a prerequisite of low cost engineering solutions in the small and medium-sized enterprises. As such, it outlines applications of locally available technology utilising practical knowledge, which also provide practical approaches so that work-tasks are less stressful but productive, and safe. So, to help ergonomic application to be effective, some technical measures appropriate for local environments are thus illustrated that can be directly implemented in the developing countries like Bangladesh to prevent and control work-related problems. However, the ultimate improvement will depend on the attitude of the people involved at all levels of an interactive system, while health and safety measures are introduced in synchronisation with local systems and/or existing environments. Emphasising the workers' cognitive, psychosocial and socio-economic improvement through self- help and self-care strategies, this thesis also concludes with the belief that the attitude of the local workers, and an indifferent working culture are the arbiters of work-related problems. It is therefore essential that a concrete implementation of locally available measures be made, establishing ergonomic changes in collaboration with all the parties concerned for particular job-tasks and work processes. To help initiate this process, a more work-thorough investigation is necessary through the guidance of coordinated research and studies. For this, an understanding of employers' attitudes and workers' involvement is essential; as well as having a grasp of the logic and reasoning behind workplace survey and the need for adequate injury records and work-related information.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Faculty / Institute: Institute for Community Development & Quality of Life (i-CODE)
Depositing User: Dr Rabiul Ahasan
Date Deposited: 19 May 2015 03:27
Last Modified: 19 May 2015 03:27
URI: http://erep.unisza.edu.my/id/eprint/2534

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