Author(s): Nag A, Desai H, Nag PK
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Abstract The study examined the work stresses of 107 women who were engaged in sewing machine operation in small garment manufacturing units. Of the three types of sewing machines (motor-operated, full and half shuttle foot-operated), 74\% of the machines were foot-operated, where throttle action of the lower limb is required to move the shuttle of the machine. The motor-operated machines were faster than the foot-operated machines. The short cycle sewing work involves repetitive action of hand and feet. The women had to maintain a constant seated position on a stool without backrest and the body inclined forward. Long-term sewing work had a cumulative load on the musculo-skeletal structures, including the vertebral column and reflected in the form of high prevalence of discomfort and pain in different body parts. About 68\% of the women complained of back pain, among whom 35\% reported a persistent low back pain. Common sewing work accident is piercing of the needle through the fingers, particularly the right forefingers. Unsatisfactory man-machine incompatibility, work posture and fatigue, improper coordination of eye, leg and hand are the major problems of the operators. The design mis-match of the work place may be significantly improved by taking women's anthropometric dimensions in modifying the workplace, i.e. the seat surface, seat height, work height, backrest, etc.
This article was published in J Hum Ergol (Tokyo)
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics