Ergonomic Interventions in a Warehouse of a Food Processing Industry
Yadhu G1, Raghunathan Rajesh 2
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Manual material handling activities are an inherent part of any manufacturing plant, and causes significant musculoskeletal disorders of lower back, shoulders and lower extremities. A field study of a warehouse of a food processing company in the state of Kerala in India is undertaken to ascertain the ergonomic issues faced by workforce. This study aims at suggesting some ergonomic interventions that will reduce the risk of work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) of warehouse operations. The ergonomic study of the warehouse revealed that the material handlers are subjected to awkward postures, and they use unscientific handling methods. Most of them are under medium to very high risk of WMSD. The ergonomic analysis reveals that there is an immediate need of implementing ergonomic interventions with proper awareness and training among workers. Quantitative analysis of the ergonomic interventions by digital human modelling and simulation (DHMS) are done using CATIA V5 software. It helps to regenerate the environment without affecting daily work in the work area. Some of those interventions include introduction of height adjustable pallet trucks and trolleys, ensure smooth material flow through new warehouse aisle layout, redesigning material handling equipments for better grip and safety. The ergonomic redesign of work system would mitigate issues of high physical exertion, WMSD and low productivity. Scope for further work includes quantification of ergonomic interventions benefits after a period of 3 years after implementation.