Objectives There are many rice mills and food grain depots where a large number of workers are engaged for processing paddy and rice, storage and distribution. Lifting, carrying and depositing sacs of food grain are the major jobs carried out by these workers. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the workers with respect to the workload, energy expenditure and musculoskeletal pain or discomfort resulting out of work practice.
Method Present study was conducted at Rudrapur city in Uttarakhand state of India. Representative samples of 40 rice mill workers engaged under Food Corporation of India were taken for study. Descriptive cum experimental research design were chosen to find work profile, for identification of risks factors at work places and to assess the physiological workload of the rice mill workers.
Results Average peak heart rate of the rice mill workers suggested the workload as moderate to very heavy. Their average energy expenditure values also indicated the workload as moderate to heavy. Musculoskeletal pain or discomfort was maximally reported in knee by 64.5% depot workers whereas low back and knee was reported by 35.5% rice mill workers. Besides the weight of the sac, awkward postures like bending and twisting of trunk adopted frequently causes the problem.
Conclusions A significant problem associated with manual handling activities involving loading and unloading tasks is the fact that they are the primary cause of overexertion injuries. Further studies and rationalisation of work method may improve the health and safety of the workers.
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