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in pains with among east associated processing work of north the related pineapple workers units peeling fruit small

Work-related pains among the workers associated with pineapple peeling in small fruit processing units of North East
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Work-related pains among the workers associated with pineapple peeling in small fruit processing units of North East India

Prakash Kumar a, *, Debkumar Chakrabarti a, Thaneswer Patel b, Anirban Chowdhuri a
a Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, Guwahati 781 039, Assam, India
b Department of Agricultural Engineering, North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST), Nirjuli 791 109, Arunachal Pradesh, India

Abstract

The present study aimed at investigating work-related pain issues among the workers associated with pineapple peeling activity in small fruit processing units of North East India. The study also assessed the associated levels of ergonomic risk prevalent among the workers and identified ergonomic risk factors associated with pineapple peeling task. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using questionnaire-based interview, pain self-report and direct observation of the activities to understand the prevailing work conditions. Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) was used to assess the level of ergonomic risks involved. Prevalence of pain, in different body parts of the participants, was found evident with a higher percentage of participants reporting pain in shoulders (41.1%), upper arms (37.1%) and lower back (45.7%) while some had also reported of pain in neck (13.2%), lower arms (15.9%), wrists (12.6%) and palm (6%). For RULA, 89.4% of the participants had a grand score greater than equal to 5 which fell under action level 3 indicating for further investigation and changes soon. Hence, various risk factors influencing pain occurrences were identified using logistic regression, and factors like age, gender, hours of peeling, frequency of rest breaks, perceived work fatigue and years of experience, were found to be associated with risk of pain in at least one of the body parts. Identification of these risk factors laid down path for the future course of actions and improvements to address the work pain related issues among workers

Relevance to industry

The study established pain prevalence associated with manual pineapple peeling task and identified the potential risk factors, laying down basis for possible future actions to address work pain related issues and enhance productivity of the workers.


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