REDUCTION OF MAXIMUM EFFORT LEVEL OF LUMBAR MUSCLE AMONG WORKERS IN AEROSPACE INDUSTRY
Author: Seri Rahayu KAMAT, Norhidayah HASHIM, Isa HALIM, Mohd Shahrizan OTHMAN, Mohammad Firdaus ANI
Abstract: In the new era of world industrialization, ergonomics plays an important role to improve occupational safety and health, and productivity in most industries including an aerospace industry. However, the manufacturing industry in Malaysia does not put any priority on ergonomics awareness, for an example, by not selecting a suitable height of workstation with operators’ anthropometry. Ergonomics so far has litle impact in Malaysia as majority of the Malaysian managers had believed that the ergonomics is not considered to be associated with performance. In a recent study on ergonomics awareness in Malaysian manufacturing industries by Mustafa et al., (2009), the researchers discovered that the main factors for the lack of ergonomics awareness were the lack of information/education/training and no pressure from the top management to initiate the ergonomics programmes. As a consequence, operators are exposed to various ergonomic risk factors and prone to have ergonomic injuries. The objective of this study was to reduce the maximum effort level of lumbar muscles of operators by changing the height of workstation using suitable anthropometry among operators. This study has conducted two analyses; analysis for quantify maximum effort level of lumbar muscle, and analysis for identify comfort level of working posture The surface Electromyography (sEMG) and Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) method from Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application (CATIA) software are used to evaluate maximum effort level of lumbar muscle, and comfort level of working posture respectively. Results for maximum effort level of lumbar muscle and comfort level of working posture found that by changing the anthropometry with suitable height of workstation has diminished the physiological stress such as work load in lumbar fascia muscle as well as extreme working posture. The study concluded that anthropometry of operators associated with the height of workstation was influenced the maximum effort level of lumbar muscle and comfort level of working posture when operators performing their jobs. The appropriate selection of workstation’s height can contribute significantly to improve physiological performance of the operators.
Keywords: Maximum Effort Level of Lumbar Muscle, Anthropometry, Height of Workstation, RULA Method