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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background study

Ergonomics applies information about human behavior, abilities and limitations and other
characteristics to the design of tools, machines, tasks, jobs and environments for productive, safe,
comfortable and effective human use (McCormick and Saunders 1993). In order to improve the
standard of the workspace and to enhance the workers productivity, the science of ergonomics
concerns with the degrees of workspace design.

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From previous study, the researchers have identified s lot of types of ergonomic factors
such as awkward postures, forceful exertion, localized contract stress, restless and repetitive
motions in the working environment, especially in manufacturing based company.
Studies in the car assembly industry found the ergonomics issues caused poor
workmanship that lead to poor product quality (Eklund (1995, 1999). While Lim and
Hoffmann (1997) conducted an experiment on hacksaw assembly and found that improved
layout of the workplace improved productivity of the workers through more economical use
of hand movement.
It is crystal-clear proved that ergonomic interventions by alteration in the arrangement or
equipment of the workplace exercise, rest break and training able to reduce musculoskeletal
symptoms in the workplace. A study conducted in office work (Mehrparvar A.H, 2014) found
a beneficial short-term effect for both ergonomic modifications and stretching work-place
exercises on reducing musculoskeletal pain in office workers.

1.2 Problem Statement


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The careful thought about ergonomics to put into practice in can generally be regarded as a
means to maintain companys workforce and its competitiveness. This is particularly true in
automotive manufacturer, where the workers in the shop floor have to fulfill physical and
strenuous task. The stress load, if sustained over time and depending on the individual
resources, can produce adverse effects, such as health and safety problems and lack of
performance.
The problem here is, even though the importance of ergonomics seems evident, the
implementation status can be described as rather poor in many companies. So, it is important
to implement the ergonomic interventions in the work place and at the same time to identify
the effectiveness of the interventions towards the works safety and health.
1.3 Objectives
The objective of this study is to identify ergonomic risk factors and to implement ergonomics
interventions in order to improve human performance in an automotive factory.

1.4 Scope of Research


For this study, the scholar already chosen to embark on ergonomics studies in real life factory
environments in Malaysia, which is an automotive parts factory, Autokeen Sdn. Bhd. This
factory is a private limited company specializing in metal parts manufacturing and assembly
specifically for the automotive industry, among a host of other products and services offered.
The research study was focused on the whole department in the company plant.

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The research had undergone numbers of processes to obtain the result related to this
topic. There are four methods that had been applied in completing this study which are
Subjective Assessment, Direct Observation, Retrieved of Archival Record, and Intervention
Study. For Subjective Assessment, the questionnaire was prepared to obtain overview
feedbacks from the respondent.
1.5 Significance of Research
This research will give the information about the risk factors of ergonomics and the effect of
them towards human body. From the obtained result, the company can come up with better
methods or tools in order to ensure the workers health and safety.
Besides, the workers performance will improve; hence, it will increase the productivity of
the company. Last but not least, the findings of this research also can be used for the further
related research.

CHAPTER 2

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LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Basics of ergonomics


The transition from classical job shop production to mass production in large-scale
manufacturing systems, which took place in the course of the industrial revolution, lead to an
emphasis on aspects such as standardization, productivity, and efficiency in operations. As major
consequences of the continued division of labor and the aim of rising productivity was the
maximization of workforce utilization as the predominant management goal without considering
possible consequences for the employees (Murell, 1967).

The increased complexity of machines and growing demand for higher operation speeds in
the course of World War II lead to the first specific scientific investigations on performance
limits and physical capacity of humans, and therewith to the emergence of ergonomics as a
scientific discipline. The term ergonomics is composed of the Greek words. ergon (work) and
nomos (rule, law) (Murrell, 1971).
Today, the scientific disciplines of ergonomics can be divided in three major areas: physical,
cognitive, and organizational ergonomics. Physical ergonomics deals with anatomic,
anthropometric, and physiologic aspects of job design (Karwowski and Rodrick, 2001).
Cognitive ergonomics examines mental processes such as information processing, apperception,
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reaction and coordination (Vicente, 1999). In organizational ergonomics, also known as macroergonomics, the emphasis is put on structures, methods and processes of socio-technical
systems (Karwowski, 2005).

2.2 Occupational injuries and illness in the industry.


According to Shameem et al. (2001), industrial workers in Malaysia experienced little work
freedom and relaxation and significant overtime work. They did not complain strongly about
poor work conditions, such as background stressors i.e., noise, heat stress due to poor air
conditioning, limited working space and poor vision due to low lighting levels. Most of these
workers were poorly educated and were ignorant of the various work environmental standards.
These workers had the idea that work conditions were what they had to adapt to.
In fact, in the 1980s, most multinational companies in Malaysia had put ergonomics as low
priority, as application of the knowledge of ergonomics was perceived as a costly and
burdensome expenditure (Yeow and Sen, 2002) rather than a rewarding investment. This was
also due to the abundance of replaceable cheap labour and low government regulation of labour
health and safety issues.

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Figure 2.1: Occupational Accidents by Sector until June 2014

According to the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), Malaysia


report on Occupational Accidents by Sector until June 2014, the highest accidents were reported
by the manufacturing sector with 964 cases, 24 cases were reported in death category, 74 cases in
Permanent Disability category and 866 cases in Non- Permanent Disability (NPD) category.
Agriculture, Forestry, Logging and Fishing with 224 cases was the second highest. However, the
highest accident for death category was reported by construction sector, with 35 cases while
manufacturing lead in Non- Permanent Disability (NPD) category.
For the Occupational Accidents by State until June 2014, Perak led with 255 occupational
accidents, 238 cases in Non- Permanent Disability (NPD) category, 8 cases in death category and
9 cases in Permanent Disability category. Negeri Sembilan recorded as the second highest state
that reported the occupational accidents with 197 cases followed by Pulau Pinang with 190
cases.

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Figure 2.2: Occupational Accidents by State until June 2014

2.3 Ergonomics risk factors


Stress-related organizational aspects such as time pressure, work times and shift changes or the
necessity to highly concentrate for long periods of time might have negative impact on an
employees performance and therefore critical issues in terms of cognitive ergonomics.
Moreover, surrounding conditions such as noise, temperature, contact with chemicals, or
vibration emitting noise tasks could hamper employees conducting their job and might have a
negative influence on workers health in the long run.
Common risk factors that can be seen at the workplace are overexertion force, awkward posture,
repetition task, environment and vibration.

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2.3.1 Force
There are three types of force, the static force required to lift and hold a load, the kinetic force
required to move an object (push or pull) and grip force. Force is the exertion on internalized
bodily tissues, including vertebral disc compression from lifting a heavy box, or tension within a
muscles during a pinch grip. Forceful muscular exertions place high loads on the muscles,
tendons, joints, and discs, and are therefore associated with most musculoskeletal disorders.
Muscles fatigue with increased muscular exertion, and the time needed to recover increases. If
recovery time is limited, soft tissue injury is more likely to occur. Where other risk factors are
present, especially frequent repetitions of exertions, awkward postures or static postures, they
add to the force required to accomplish the exertion. Generally the larger the force the higher the
injury risk, so it is always beneficial to reduce the weight of the object to be handled.

2.3.2 Posture
Posture is the position the body is in while completing the movement. Muscles and tendons are
strongest in neutral positions, so any deviation reduces stability and strength. With prolonged
awkward postures, muscles can be strained and tendons and nerves stretched or pinched. Tasks
that involve long reaches require considerably more force to accomplish than tasks that can be
performed closer to the body.
Common injuries involving repetitive awkward postures include carpal tunnel syndrome
in the wrist and impingement syndrome in the shoulder. To avoid injuries caused by awkward
postures, avoid lifting objects from overhead, use an ergonomic computer mouse and avoid far
reaches with the upper body. Table below shows postures that accompany higher injury risks.

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Table 2.3.2.1: Postures that accompany higher injury risks

Body Parts

Postures

Wrist:

flexion and extension (bending up and

down)
ulnar/radial deviation (side bending)

Shoulder:

abduction/flexion (upper arm out to the

side or above shoulder level)


hands at or above shoulder height

Neck:

flexion/extension

backwards and forwards)


side bending

(bending

Low Back:

bending at the waist


twisting
bending while twisting

2.3.3 Repetition

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neck

Repetition is described as the number of times the same movement/task is completed within a
given time. Highly repetitive tasks are of concern because they work the same muscles, tendons,
and ligaments repeatedly, rarely allowing for adequate recovery. With time, the effort to maintain
the repetitive movements continually increases. When the work activity is continued, in spite of
the developing fatigue, injuries occur.
2.3.4 Environment
When the environment is too cold, blood flow is diverted from the extremities, to the core to
maintain body temperature. Decreased blood flow results in lower muscle power and early onset
of fatigue, as well as reduced sensation in extremities. Consequently, when the work area is too
hot, blood flow increases to the skin to dissipate the heat, again reducing blood flow to skeletal
muscle. Decreases in strength and early onset of fatigue as well as increased need for recovery
time are all consequences of hot work environments.
2.3.5 Vibration
Vibration causes reduced blood flow to the fingers and hands, resulting in localized numbness.
Prolonged and repeated exposure to vibration can permanently damage blood vessels leading to
White finger syndrome or even Reynauds Disease. Hand Arm Vibration also interferes with
sensory receptor feedback, leading to tighter gripping of hand tools.
All of the above mentioned the risk factors (out of the categories task, organizational
aspects, and surrounding conditions) have in common that they hamper workers to unfold their
full potential and that they contribute to harmful manufacturing environments (Xiao et al. 2004).
Today, production systems, especially in the automotive industries are oftentimes
characterized by a large number of various processes in highly automated environments (Ohno,
2005). This has severe consequences for the number and nature of tasks performed by shop floor
employees. Harmful in this context are simple, monotonous, and highly repetitive tasks (Kume
and Sato, 1999; Xiao et al. 2004). These lead to one-sided strains and can therefore be identified
as the main reason for diseases of the muscular-skeleton system such as Repetitive Strain
Injuries or Cumulative Trauma Disorders (Fathallah et al. 1998)
2.4 Musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs)
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An MSI, defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, is an injury or disorder
of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, blood vessels or related soft tissue
including a sprain, strain and inflammation, that may be caused or aggravated by work.

Figure 2.3: MSD in the upper extremities of body.

The risk factors for MSI are related to the physical demands of a task and include force,
repetition, work posture, working heights, and local contact stress. The most common type of
MSI is back strain, followed by other strains and tendinitis. MSIs are most commonly
reported among workers in the retail industry, with 3,352 claims submitted between 2005 and
2009.

2.5 Laboratory Workbenches


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Figure 2.4: Workbench Design

When used inappropriately, laboratory workbenches can expose researchers to a variety of


hazardous conditions or ergonomic risk factors depending on the laboratory procedure being
used. Most workbenches at the University are of fixed heights and cannot be modified (raised or
lowered). In general they are the same height and were designed for light to slightly heavy work.
Using a laboratory workbench as a computer workstation is an example of inappropriate use,
since it forces the worker to assume a variety of awkward postures and may increase the
likelihood of acquiring MSD.

If workbench height is above elbow height, between 37and 43 inches, use for

precision work.
If workbench height is just below elbow height, between 34 and 37 inches, use for

light work.
If workbench height is below elbow, between 28 and 35 inches, use for heavy work.

2.6 Rapid Entire Body Assessment worksheet (REBA)

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The basic idea of REBA is: positions of individual body segments will be observed and
the more there is deviation from the neutral posture the higher will the score of each body
part be.
Group A includes trunk and neck, and legs and group B upper arms, lower arms,
and wrists. These groups are combined and the 144 posture combinations are transformed
to a general postural score ("'grand score").
Additional items observed and scored are the load handled, coupling with the load
handled, and physical activity. The scores are summed up to have one score for each
observation. These scores are compared to tables stating risk on five levels and actions
needed.

Figure 2.6.1: REBA worksheet

The static captured pictures of the workers working posture will be selected and
then by using the REBA worksheet, a score will assigned for each of the body regions.

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Figure 2.6.2: REBA worksheet Score

After the data for each region is collected and scored, tables on the form are then
used to compile the risk factor variables, after the final score is generate, that score
represents the level of MSD risk.

Figure 2.6.3: Proper lifting techniques

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CHAPTER 3

METHODOLOGY

3.1 Methods and Techniques


The methodologies used in this project have been categorized into 3 groups.
I.

The general methods used were:


Direct observations in the field consisting of human recording such as scored

II.

III.

assessments (REBA) and walkthroughs


Indirect observations in the field via questionnaires and subjective ratings
Standards and recommendations that were enforced via the intervention

To collect information about the workers the following methods were used:
Physical measurements such as how individuals performed body movements
Subjective assessment via questionnaires.

For the analysis and design the following methods were used:
Expert analysis often involving, walkthroughs and scored assessments
Intervention studies
4. To evaluate human performance the following methods were used:

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Physical assessment by using Rapid Entire Body Assessment worksheet (REBA)


Subjective assessment by means of questionnaires and ratings

5. To evaluate the demands on the workers the following methods were used:

Job and work attitudes measurements of by means of rating scales in


questionnaires.

3.2 Research Flowchart


Start

Problem
Statement
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Literature Review

Scope of
Project

Research and
Development
Direct Observation

Interventio
n Studies

Ergonomic
Interventions

Retrieved of
Archival Record

Subjective
Assessment

Subjective
Assessment
Data Collection
Report Writing
End

Figure 3.2.1: Research flowchart

3.3 Research Stages and its details


3.3.1 Research and Development
In this phase, the problem statement and the objective of the study were narrowed down in
order to focus more on the purpose of the research. As for the literature review, the sources of
all the information and data mostly based on journals, come from article and few from books.

3.3.2 Ergonomic Interventions


During this phase, the data collection was gathered from quantitative and qualitative analysis.
A few methods have been done in this phase such as;
3.3.2.1 Subjective Assessment
The subjective assessment is a set of questionnaire that consisted of several sections such
as demographics and relevant questions due to the issue regarding to ergonomic study.
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Thirty sets of questionnaires were distributed to the respondent in the working plant. The
respondents were the operators from several departments in the Autokeen which are
Production, Machining and Finishing. The data gained from the subjective Assessment
was analyzed and interpreted into the table and graph.
3.3.2.2 Direct Observation
Pictures and video were taken during this stage to confirming the finding of Subjective
Assessment and the pictures and videos taken were used for Rapid Entire Body
Assessment (REBA) scores.

3.3.3 Ergonomic Interventions


Based on the data from Subjective Assessment and REBA Scores, Some interventions such
as packing blocks, modified adjustable table and rubber mat are introduced as the
interventions to improve human work performance. All of the interventions were
implemented one at a time. Packing block was implemented in CNC machine, rubber mat
was placed on floor in the production line and the adjustable table was not in a fixed
workstation since the table was attached to the pallet jack.

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CHAPTER 4

RESULTS AND DATA ANALYSIS

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The data was collected from all the methods that were explained in the chapter 3
(Methodology). All the data collected was gaining from all of the methods that were explained
in the Methodology Chapter. All the data and results are was analyzed and interpreted in the
following sub topics.

4.1 Questionnaires
Thirty sets of questionnaires were distributed to the respondent in the automotive power
plant. Mostly the operators are come from Bangladesh, a few from Pakistan and only one Malay
respondent. All of them are the operators from several departments in the Autokeen which are
Production, Machining and Finishing.

The demographic details such as age, height, weight, working experience, working days
per week, working hours per day and working hours per day spent standing (Section A and B)
were tabulated in Table 4.1.
Table 4.1: Demographic Details.
Categorical variables (N=30)

Categorical Variables

Category

n (%)

Age (Years)

21-30
31-40

17 (57)
13 (43)

S
M
L
XL

2(7)
10(33)
11(37)
7(23)

Production
Machining
Finishing

18(60)
1(3)
11(37)

Body Size

Department

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Work experience (months)

Working hours per day


(hour/day)

Maximum standing hours per


day

1-5
6-10
11-15

20(67)
10(33)
0

8
10
12

8(27)
12(40)
10(33)

0-2
3-4
5-6
7-8

4(13)
8(27)
12(40)
6(20)

Question 17: Do you has any occupational health and safety problems due to work?

Production

35%

Machining
Finishing
60%

5%

Figure 4.1: Percentage of respondent opinion about occupational safety and


health problems

From the figure 4.1 above, 60% which is 18 respondents from 30 number of respondent
that facing with safety and health problems due to work are from production department. While
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the other 35% (11 respondents) and 5% (1 respondent) from Finishing and Machining
department. Most of them also agreed the accidents occurred due to less safety procedure took
place during the machining operation. The worst case had been reported during scholar
internship was one of the machining operators lost his thumb because hes ignoring the safety
procedure when handling the lathe machine.

Figure 4.2: One of safety label in the working plant

Work Activities
No of
respondents

Streno
us

Monotono
us

Fatigue

Boring

12

29

23

11

Table 4.2: Respondent's opinion about their working condition

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Question 20: Do you find your work strenuous / monotonous / fatiguing / boring?

Strenous
Monotonous

Working activities

Fatigue
Boring

10

15

20

25

30

No of Respondent

Figure 4.3: The graph of respondent's opinion about their working condition

From figure 4.3 above, almost all of the respondents agreed their work is monotonous
which is repeated. 29 from 30 respondents said that they keep working on same thing every day,
for 8-10 hours in standing work position which 77% of the respondent agreed the conditions lead
to fatigue. Because of the repetitiveness, 11 respondents found their work is boring.

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25
20
15
10
5
0
Enough Work Space

Conveyor Height

Safety Shoes

Figure 4.4: Respondent opinion about their work station condition

Based on the data that had been interpreted into the Figure 4.4 above, about 70% (21)
respondents agreed they had enough working space and dont have any problem working in it.
However, only 27% respondent answered they were comfortable with their conveyer height.
Most of the respondents complaining about their conveyor height are too low, especially theres a
few of the operators in Finishing Department, which they dont have fixed workstations.

Figure 4.5: A picture of a few workers from finishing department

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Figure above shows the operators improper work station which makes them feel
discomfort when working. The working table was not provided, and the chair that they are using
to sit also is not properly design which is the custom made chair made from scrap. Because of
the uncomfortable work station, they complained having a back ache after working hours.

Question 22: Comfortability in work environment


30
23

10
4

Noisy

Smelly

Dirty

Proper Illumination

Figure 4.6: Respondents comfortability in their working environment

Due to the company-based nature in producing stamping products, noisy working


environment was the most selected as their main disturbance during working time. From the
Figure 4.6 above, 23 from 30 respondents agreed the noise from stamping operation give them
discomfort as the sound produced from the stamping machine was too loud. Even they wear the
ears protection; they still can hear the sound clearly.
However, 100% respondent admits they are satisfied with the lighting in their working
environment since the working plant had proper illumination. Theres less complains about dirty
environment because the company applied 5S. The operators doing cleaning task 15 minutes
before they start working and 15 minutes before they finish their working hour.

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Figure 4.7: Body diagram with labels

In one of the questionnaire question, the respondents were ask to scale to which their
body region that they feel discomfort during their job by referring to the figure 4.7 above. The
scale of the levels of discomfort was divided with five categorical which are non-discomfort,
discomfort, mild discomfort, moderate discomfort and severe discomfort.
The Non- Discomfort category is means for none body region that having pain or injury
that influenced by their daily work routine. As for the Discomfort category, it is means that the
respondent feels that their specific body region is bit disturbed their movement for doing their
job. Mild Discomfort category is represented for uneasy feeling that probably makes the
respondent out of their focus while working. For Moderate Discomfort category, it is means that
the pain or injury in their specific body region makes them feel uneasy and to reduce the sickness
they have to consume a medicine. Meanwhile Severe Discomfort category is represent for the
uneasiness of the specific body region is the main reason for the respondent medical leave or
being hospitalized.
From the data that had been obtained, the result was interpreted into the table and figure below.

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Table 4.3: Percentage of level discomfort of specific body region

Body Regions
Waist
Neck
Right Shoulder
Left Shoulder
Right Upper Arm
Left Upper Arm
Right Forearm
Left Forearm
Right Hand
Left Hand
Right Wrist
Left Wrist
Right Thigh
Left Thigh
Right Knee
Left Knee
Right Calf
Left Calf
Right Ankle
Left Ankle
Right Foot
Left Foot

NonDiscomfort
n(%)

Discomfort
n(%)

15(50)
13(43)
15(50)
20(67)
10(33)
16(53)
16(53)
19(63)
9(30)
12(40)
21(70)
23(77)
23(77)
25(83)
21(70)
23(77)
22(73)
24(80)
15(50)
15(50)
20(67)
20(67)

12(40)
13(43)
8(27)
6(20)
12(40)
10(33)
11(37)
8(27)
3(10)
14(47)
3(10)
4(13)
6(20)
3(10)
5(17)
4(13)
6(20)
6(20)
10(33)
12(40)
5(17)
5(17)

Mild
Discomfor
t
n(%)
2(7)
4(13)
7(23)
4(13)
5(17)
3(10)
1(3)
2(7)
15(50)
3(10)
6(20)
2(7)
1(3)
1(3)
2(7)
2(7)
1(3)
1(3)
3(10)
2(7)
2(7)
2(7)

Moderate
Discomfort
n(%)

Severe
Discomfort
n(%)

1(3)

1(3)

3(10)
1(3)
2(7)
1(3)
3(10)
1(3)
1(3)
1(3)
2(7)
1(3)
1(3)
1(3)
2(7)
1(3)
3(10)
3(10)

Referring to the Table 4.3, the highest percentage of level discomfort of specific body
region is at hand with 70%. Discomfort recorded with 10% only while highest is mild discomfort
with 50%. The rest 10% was complained as moderate discomfort. There were also reported that
they feel severe discomfort on some parts that are on their waist, and left thigh. However the
percentage is too low with 3%. From the table 4.3 it can be observe most of them that report
having pain symptoms in previous question were saying that the pain level is at mild discomfort.

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Figure 4.8: Discomfort of the specific body region of respondent

Question 23: Discomfort of the specific body region


25
20
15
10
5
0

From the overall result, it shows that upper extremities of body region specifically from
shoulder to hand were the most discomfort part of body region that the respondent chose. There
is also a complains about the discomfort at the respondent lower extremities of body region,
which at their ankle and foot mostly because of their long standing working posture. The highest
body part was recorded as discomfort is hand and the lowest part is thigh.
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Question 23, 24 25, 26 : Working experience


27

25

30

Figure 4.9: Problem encounters during works

Based on the data that had been collected from question 23, question 24, question 25, and
question 26, the results was compiled and interpreted into the Figure 4.9 above. From the
analyzed data, 30 out of 30 respondents faced the same problem during their works activities.
Which is means that 100% of the respondents experienced turning waist while working. The
respondents admit by turning their waist during working, they can minimize their movement but
they did not realize how it can bring the negative impact to their body.
Out of 30 respondents, 90% agreed they experienced long-term standing working
posture. This is due to their work nature that forced them to work by standing. Meanwhile 83%
respondents experienced bend down during works. This situation was unavoidable since their
part or material box are placed on floor. So, they have to bend down to reach it with no
compromise

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Question 28: Do you think you have sufficient training to conduct the machine?

17%

Yes
No

83%

Figure 5.0: Respondent response over training before conduct the machine

The percentage result from the question 28 of the questionnaire was significantly led to
the negative answer. About 83% respondents admit that they didnt have sufficient training
before conducting the machine. This is because most of the operators in the plant are from an
agency, so the agency just put them randomly into the company without giving them the training
before work. Only a few of the respondents have sufficient training to conduct the machine b due
to their previous work experience. The result was supported with the company record of high
value of defect products per day.
4.2 Direct Observation and REBA Evaluation
From the walk through observation, workings operator body postures were observed and
captured. Ten pictures were selected, and the results of the posture evaluation were tabulated on
the table below.
In the case of the operation of finishing line, which is drilling (situation 1-3), the risk of
exposure to MSD's was high (AC 4) which requires investigation and implement changes.

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For other activities in operation line (Situation 4-10), the average risk of MSD's is
classified as high too, which is AC 4. The high level was due to the need to maintain a stable
upright posture while working, tilt the body, especially for the collection of the part from the
box, and a high involvement of the upper limbs in the performance of the task.
The most vulnerable segments of the body to injuries arising were the thorax, which was
usually tilted heavily forward, or twisted to the side. The other segment is legs; this is due to the
standing nature of the work. Last but not least is the arms, which is most were at a greater
distance from the axis of the body, elevated at the shoulder joint, and frequently bent and twisted
wrists.
Only four working positions were rated as medium, which are position 3, position 4,
position 6 and position 8 (AC 3) that need further investigation and changes soon.
Table5.1: REBA Scores based on 10 selected working postures

Situatio
ns
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Table
A
7
5
4
2
5
5
5
1
6
5

Force/Loa
d
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Scores
Table
Coupli
B
ng
6
1
6
1
3
1
4
1
5
3
3
1
5
2
5
1
6
2
8
1

Table
C
9
8
4
6
8
5
8
6
9
9

Activity

Final REBA
scores

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

10
9
5
7
9
6
9
7
10
10

Table 5.2: REBA scores with description of working postures

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Bi
l
1.

Static pictures with REBA score

Description of Working Posture

The trunk position is deviated about 45o to 90o from


the neutral posture.

Wrist is bent from midline

within 0o to 15o, while neck in extension. The


position is maintained for longer than 1 minute and
repeated. The operator work in standing position
about 8-10 hours per day.
REBA SCORE: 10
2.
Neck and trunk are flexed about 20o from neutral
posture. Upper arm is abducted about 45o to 90o,
lower arm raised about 0o to 60o, wrist are bent
within 0o to 15o in radial and ulnar deviation. The
operator work in standing position about 8-10 hours
per day and small range action repeated more than
4 times per minute.
REBA SCORE: 9
Neck and trunk are flexed about 20o from neutral
posture. Upper arm is abducted about 20o to 45o,
lower arm lowered about 0o to 10o. The operator
work in standing position about 8-10 hours per day
and small range action repeated more than 4 times
per minute.

REBA SCORE: 5

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Upper arm is abducted about 45o to 90o, lower arm


raised about 0o to 60o, and shoulder is raised. Wrist
is bent within 0o to 15o in radial and ulnar
deviation. Twisting at the waist. The operator work
in standing position about 8-10 hours per day and
small range action repeated more than 4 times per
minute.
REBA SCORE: 7
The trunk position is deviated about 45o to 90o from
the neutral posture. Upper arm is abducted about
20o to 45o, lower arm raised about 0o to 10o, and
shoulder is raised while neck in extension. The
position is maintained for longer than 1 minute and
repeated.

REBA SCORE: 9
Neck and trunk are flexed about 20o from neutral
posture. Lower arm is abducted about 60 o to 100o,
wrist are bent within 0o to 15o in radial and ulnar
deviation, and twisted. The operator work in
standing position about 8-10 hours per day and
small range action repeated more than 4 times per
minute.
REBA SCORE: 6

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Neck and trunk are in extension about 20o from


neutral posture. The waist is bending. Upper arm is
abducted about 90o or above, lower arm raised
about 60o to 100o, wrist are bent and twisted within
0o to 15o in radial and ulnar deviation. The operator
work in standing position about 8-10 hours per day
and small range action repeated more than 4 times
per minute.
REBA SCORE: 9
Neck and trunk are flexed about 0o to 20o from
neutral posture. Upper arm is abducted about 90o
while lower arm is abducted about 60 o to 100o,
wrist are bent within 0o to 15o in radial and ulnar
deviation, and twisted. The operator work in
standing position about 8-10 hours per day and
small range action repeated more than 4 times per
minute.
REBA SCORE: 7
Neck and trunk in extension about 20o from neutral
posture. Upper arm is abducted within 45o to 90o
and lower arm is abducted about 60 o to 100o. Wrist
are bent and twisted within 0o to 15o in radial and
ulnar deviation. Waist is bending and twisted. The
operator work in standing position about 8-10 hours
per day and small range action repeated more than
4 times per minute.
REBA SCORE: 10

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Upper arm is abducted about 90o and above, while


lower arm abducted about 90o to 100o, and shoulder
is raised. Wrist is bent within 0o to 15o in radial and
ulnar deviation and twisted. Twisting at the waist.
The operator work in standing position about 8-10
hours per day and the body posture are held for
longer than 1 minute.

REBA SCORE: 10

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CHAPTER 5

ERGONOMIC INTERVENTION

The interventions have been implemented after 2 months from the process of the data
collected and analyzed. For this study, the scholar implemented three ergonomic interventions in
the plant one at a time. This is to make sure that each of the intervention really did some changes
or improvements. Besides, one at a time implementation provides the easier way for data
collection process.
Based on the results, the scholar implemented three ergonomic interventions in the plant
which included packing blocks, modified adjustable table and rubber mat. These interventions
were implemented in different workstations. Packing block was implemented in the CNC
machine, while rubber mat was placed on floor in the production line. And lastly, the adjustable
table was not in a fixed workstation since the table was attached to the pallet jack.
37 | P a g e

5.1 Adjustable Table


Since the operators at the working floor had same difficulties with their work bench, the
scholar decide to design a new working table which its height can be adjusted and can be easily
moved. With the help of the technician in the working floor, a custom made table had been made
by using the ready material in the company. The table then was attached to the pallet jack as
shown in the Figure 5.1.1 below.

Figure 5.1.1: Final product of Modified adjustable table

Because of the table will be attached to the pallet jack, the dimension of the table must be
accurate so that there is no problem occurred during the attachment of the table and the pallet
jack. So, the process of measuring the pallet jacks dimension was took place before designing
the drawing. The design drawing was created by using AutoCAD software in the company with
the help of the designer in the design house. The flow of the process of this intervention had
been simplified into the Figure 5.2 below.

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Take the dimension


of the pallet jack.

Attachment process
of the table and pallet
jack by using bolt and
nuts.

Create a design
drawing by using
AutoCAD software

Spray and dry up


process take one
whole day before we
can take it back to
plant again.

The drawing is sent


to the technician for
the fabrication
process purpose

Once the table had


been fabricated, the
product will be send
to workshop for
painting.

The intervention is
place to the
production line.

Figure 5.1.2: Process flow of the intervention

Figure 5.1.3: Spraying process of the table.

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Figure 5.1.4: The height of the table that can be adjusted.

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5.2 Packing Blocks


The second intervention is focusing on the operation in the Machining Department which
is mainly at the CNC machine. A questionnaire was distributed to the CNC operator and the data
had been analyzed. To add some details, the Retrieved of Archival Record method was used.
From the data obtained, the operator spend about one month, 29-31 days to finish their given
task. Since there is no changes can be made related to the CNC machining process and timing,
then the only thing that we can modified is the activities that doesnt related with the CNC
machine. So, removal of rust on the dies activities (finishing process) is selected. In order to
reduce the overall production time, the scholar altogether with the supervisor discussed and come
up with the idea of using the packing blocks in the CNC machine.

Figure 5.2.1: The packing blocks that are designed in different sizes

As we can see from Figure 5.2.1 above, the packing blocks are designed in different sizes
due to the shape and the design of the dies are varies. The packing blocks are functioning as the
divider between the dies and the CNC machine so that there is no direct attachment between
those two.

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Figure 5.2.2: The usage of the packing blocks in the CNC Machine

Figure 5.2.2 above shows how the packing blocks are used in the CNC machine. Because
the company is practically use coolant that mix up with the water, these combination of both
fluid expose the surface of the die to the development of corrosion. From previous record,
process of rust removal from the surface of the dies somehow took 2 days from the overall
production time since the operator doing it manually.
The intervention was implemented a week after the first intervention. For this
intervention, it took longer times due to the production process for these packing blocks were
made in different company. To withstand the weight of the dies and to avoid the corrosion
happen to the packing blocks, a lot of thought was put into the selection of the material. After
doing some research, material SKD 11 (alloy tool steel) has been selected. SKD11 is a HighCarbon High-Chromium alloy steel with high hardness (appropriate toughness) and tempering
hardening effect.

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Figure 5.2.3: Drawing and 3D model sample of the packing blocks

There are four design of the packing blocks were created. One of the design is the one
that shown in the Figure 5.2.3 above. All the drawings were sent to the other company that able
to make the custom made products. The cost was fully sponsored by the Autokeen Sdn Bhd.

43 | P a g e

5.3 Rubber Mats


Based on the Direct Observation and Subjective Assessment data gain, the biggest issues
is about the respondent long-term standing. From previous research, the effects of long-term
standing on hard surfaces are not comfortable due leg muscles become static and continuously
flexed to ensure the body in an upright position.

Figure 5.3.1: Standing for long periods reduces the natural flow of oxygen and blood
back to the heart, which can cause fatigue and blood pooling in lower extremities

As for the solution, the scholar came up with an idea to propose the intervention of
rubber mat in the production line. Based on the environment of the department, the vibration that
caused by the stamping machine can be one of the ergonomic risk factors. Prolonged and
repeated exposure of human body to vibration caused reduced blood flow and lead to permanent
blood vessels damage.

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This intervention mat is a Neoprene rubber- based material. Neoprene is a synthetic


rubber produced by polymerization of chloroprene and used in weather-resistant products,
adhesives, shoe soles, sportswear, paints, and rocket fuels. Neoprene polychloroprene was
originally used as an oil-resistant replacement for natural rubber.

Neoprene
rubber

Boots insole
rubber

Figure 5.3.2: Custom made rubber mat that had been implement

The Figure 5.3.2 above shows the picture of the rubber mat. There are two different
materials for this mat which are Neoprene and the rubber for shoes insole. Both of the materials
are used to isolate noise and high frequency vibration generated by mechanical equipment. The
idea to make this mat was based on the Kinetics Model RD Neoprene Isolation technology.
This 6cm mat is made up from two layer of Neoprene rubber on the side, and the insole
rubber was placed at the middle of the mat. These rubbers were attached together by using the
special glue for the rubber material. It took a week before the glue completely dried up. And the
intervention was placed at the production line, which is at the stamping machine.

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Figure 5.3.3: The operator standing on the rubber mat during stamping operation

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CHAPTER 6

CONCLUSION

6.1 Discussion
After three months of the implementation, Subjective Assessment, Direct Observation
and Retrieved of Archival Record method had been carried out in order to determine the
effectiveness of each of the interventions. The same questionnaire was distributed to the same
person who is being the subjects of the interventions.

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Table 6.1.1: Percentage of level discomfort of specific body region before


the intervention

NonMild
Moderate
Discomfor
Discomfor
Discomfor Discomfor
t
t
t
t
n(%)
n(%)
n(%)
n(%)

Severe
Discomfor
t

Waist

15(50)

12(40)

2(7)

1(3)

Neck

13(43)

13(43)

4(13)

Right Shoulder

15(50)

8(27)

7(23)

Left Shoulder

20(67)

6(20)

4(13)

Right
Arm

10(33)

12(40)

5(17)

3(10)

Left Upper Arm

16(53)

10(33)

3(10)

1(3)

Right Forearm

16(53)

11(37)

1(3)

2(7)

Left Forearm

19(63)

8(27)

2(7)

1(3)

Right Hand

9(30)

3(10)

15(50)

3(10)

Left Hand

12(40)

14(47)

3(10)

1(3)

Right Wrist

21(70)

3(10)

6(20)

Left Wrist

23(77)

4(13)

2(7)

Right Thigh

23(77)

6(20)

1(3)

Left Thigh

25(83)

3(10)

1(3)

Right Knee

21(70)

5(17)

2(7)

2(7)

Left Knee

23(77)

4(13)

2(7)

1(3)

Right Calf

22(73)

6(20)

1(3)

1(3)

Left Calf

24(80)

6(20)

1(3)

1(3)

Right Ankle

15(50)

10(33)

3(10)

2(7)

Left Ankle

15(50)

12(40)

2(7)

1(3)

Right Foot

20(67)

5(17)

2(7)

3(10)

Body Regions

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1(3)

n(%)

Upper

1(3)

1(3)

Left Foot

20(67)

5(17)

2(7)

3(10)

In the Table 6.1.1 above, it shows that upper extremities of body region specifically from
shoulder to hand were the most discomfort part of body region that the respondent chose. There
is also a complains about the discomfort at the respondent lower extremities of body region,
which at their ankle and foot mostly because of their long standing working posture. The same
set of questionnaire was distributed to the same person who is being the subjects of the
interventions. There was a slightly reduction in musculoskeletal complaints after the
interventions. Figures 6.1.1 below show the changes in the frequency of musculoskeletal
complaints in different parts of the body.
Figure 6.1.1: The comparison graph of discomfort in specific body region of the
respondent before and after the intervention

Comparison of discomfort in specific body region before and after ergonomic intervention
25
20
15
10
5
0

The highest reduction complains recorded is 2 which at the waist, calf, shoulder, thigh and knee
body region. There is not much improvement since the interventions did not focus on person by
person. But, one reduction of foot and one reduction of calf complains in discomfort of specific
body region was come from the subject of rubber mat intervention. Additionally, the respondent
in Machining Department, which is where packing blocks are implemented, also report that there
is less pain in his thigh and waist body region since he dont have to spend a lot of time sitting
and bending to clean the die.

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Besides, the operators in the production department gave a positive feedback regarding
the intervention of adjustable table. The respondents agreed about the usage if adjustable table
improve their work performance. Since the table is movable and its height is adjustable, the
operator use less working energy and they dont have to bend down to reach their product. Figure
below shows the operator using the table to place his part. However, he did not lift up the table to
the maximum height so that the height is more ergonomic to him.

Figure 6.1.2: The intervention usage in the production line

While for the second intervention, which are packing blocks, there are some
improvements in the machining department. A production time for the latest TATA project from
Miyazu was recorded faster than previous production overall time. The operator saved 2 days for
rust removing activities since there is less corrosion development on the surface of the dies. This
study had some limitations. Regarding ergonomic modifications, the scholar could change the
arrangement of workstation and some non-ergonomic equipment but the production activities in
the plant cant be stop.

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The strongest improvements can be done, but some of these

modifications are costly. At first, the scholar decided to implement anti-vibration in the work
plant, but the idea need to be cancelled since the cost for the mat is out of budget.

5.2 Recommendations
In order to reduce working injury and to preserve workers health and safety, corrective actions
should be carried out soon. Ergonomic intervention should be related to reorganization of
workstations, and redesign of working methods.

Figure 5.2.1: The Basics of Neutral Working Postures

By referring to the basic of neutral working postures above, the ergonomic interventions at the
work station can be done by:

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Figure 5.2.2: Designing the job to allow the worker to keep the arms low and the
elbows close to the body.

Figure 5.2.3: A chair, footrest, a mat to stand on, and an adjustable work surface
are essential components for a standing workstation

5.3 Conclusion
For the conclusion, based on the evaluations of this study, the workers in the unorganized and
manufacturing sectors are compelled to maximum amount of work but minimum amount of
safety. As the result, the operators had to perform strenuous manual tasks for prolonged period
and suffer from injury and pain afflicting different body parts. The best way to prevent Work

52 | P a g e

related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMDs), is to implement ergonomic intervention. In this


study the scholar found a beneficial short-term effect for the ergonomic interventions.

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