1657b Ergonomic assessment of arc welding job


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Abstract

IntroductionAmong the various process of welding metal arc welding is the most common, versatile and inexpensive one and account for over 50% of the total welding in advanced countries and over 80% in India. A large number of workforces around the world earn their livelihood in this occupation. Welders have no fixed work station in developing world irrespective of industries. They are forced to work in cramped space assuming awkward posture that burden to cardio-respiratory system.MethodsThis study was performed on worker (n=31) engaged in welding job in different unorganised industry throughout West Bengal. The task was examined in the light of the observed physiological parameters and postural load in workers during their performances. The physical strain in terms of cardio-acceleration and energy cost was examined by Heart Rate Monitor. Ergonomic assessment tool REBA (Rapid Entire Body Assessment) was used to assess the working posture and risk level of postural load. Different thermal factors like Dry bulb temperature(DB), Wet bulb temperature(WB), Globe temperature(GT), Relative humidity(RH), Air velocity(AV), Wet bulb globe temperature(WBGT) was evaluated by Asman Hygrometer and EXTECH HT30, KATA Thermometer.ResultCardio-acceleration and energy cost was found to be moderately heavy. Risk level of postural load was found to be 4–9 category. DB (32.27°C-35.7°C), WB (23.92°C −26.5°C), GT(36.73°C-40.73°C), RH(43.27%–49.9%), AV(15.56 metre/minute-26.67 metre/minute), WBGT (27.23°C-30.2°C) was found.DiscussionPostural load was seen to be in the higher order indicating the workers are suffering from huge amount of ergonomic challenges. It can be seen that the welders how encounter with radiant heat sourced from climate as well as from the job itself, which makes the work for the welders more strenuous. It is important to consider both the environmental issues and postural load because they impact the workforce welfare and consequently the productivity.

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