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292 Interventions in informal sectors: a participatory ergonomics approach
  1. Somnath Gangopadhyay
  1. Professor; Occupational Ergonomics Laboratory, Department of Physiology, University of Calcutta, Calcutta, India


Introduction A large number of work forces in Asia (85%) are directly involved in informal sectors, whereas among the other continents, Africa contributes 57% to informal work. The most of the employees are contractual or casual. The labour laws are mostly, not applicable in the informal sectors. There are lack of occupational safety and health awareness among them, which include, less attention to industrial hygiene, poor housekeeping and poor employee protection.

This tremendous work force directly links with work pressure. Time is calculated as accumulation of money. Work and time will become the stress to these workers. Production has great importance than safety and health, so, human comfort is greatly neglected. A demand for investigation on health and safety is a common and genuine demand of informal sectors. In 2001, in International Labour Conference, the challenge for integration of Informal economy with formal economy was greatly discussed. We should include another challenge: the applications of work comfort in informal sectors.

Methods A large number of these workers are suffering from different types of work related disorders. It is observed that through the application of low cost interventions their conditions may be improved. Through the participatory ergonomics approach, several interventions are designed and applied in different informal sectors of India. A detailed study is made on the identification of efficacies of these interventions.

Result Surprisingly observed, low cost health interventions can improve the productivity of informal sectors up to 30%. The work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are also prevented.

Discussion It is essential and important to apply the exact interventions and to find out and behavioural approaches of the users towards the utilizations of interventions. As informal sectors are increasing steadily in different developing countries so to give the workers comfort is becoming a challenge of these parts of the globe.

  • Productivity
  • Acceptance
  • Utility

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