The two final decades of the 20th century saw a significant increase in ergonomics activity (and resulting publications) in industrially developing countries (IDCs). However, a few ergonomics papers from Singapore, for example, were published in 1969 and 1970. This paper reviews developments in ergonomics in industrially developing countries from 1969 relying heavily on published papers although their quality varies considerably. Some criticism of these papers is offered. Most were concerned with the use of work tools, workstation operations, material handling and working environments especially in tropical climates. The similar problems encountered in a variety of countries are discussed, and the importance of low-cost solutions stressed. This study presents an overview of er gonomics research in IDCs. It concentrates on ASEAN countries whilst recognising the valuable work done in other areas.
Individuals' expertise in human factors and ergonomics in Malaysia was studied with a view to aiding in gauging the confusion and conjectures of the expertise in this area. The choices and preferences of individuals in dealing with the current issues of human factors and ergonomics were examined. The authors suggest the ways to meet ethical challenges in their work and professions.
This paper presents the results of an anthropometric data collected from polytechnic students in Malaysia. A total of 1032 (595 males and 437 females) students participated in the study. Their ages ranged from 18 to 24 years. A total of 34 anthropometric dimensions were measured. Descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation, standard error of mean, coefficient of variation, minimum, maximum and percentile for each parameter were estimated. In addition, the comparison between Malaysia anthropometric data and Thailand (South) anthropometric data were also presented. The results show that there is a total of 12 and 11 (of dimensions parameters) significant differences (p < 0.05) between the male and female adults respectively.
This paper describes the development of the Workplace Ergonomic Risk Assessment (WERA) for investigating the physical risk factor associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). The initial development of WERA tool involved the following procedures: (1) first stage, development of WERA prototype from literature review, (2) second stage, evaluation of the psychometric properties including (a) validity trials and (b) reliability and usability trials. In the validity trials, the relationship of the individual WERA body part scores to the development of pain or discomfort is statistically significant for the wrist, shoulder and back regions. It shows that the WERA assessment provided a good indication of work-related musculoskeletal disorders which might be reported as pain, ache or discomfort in the relevant body regions. In the reliability trials, the results of inter-observer reliability shows that moderate agreement among the observers while from the feedback questionnaire survey about the usability of WERA tool, all participants including expert and management teams agreed that the prototype of WERA tool was easy and quick to use, applicable to workplace assessment for the wide range of job/task and valuable at work. It was confirmed that there was no need of training required to do WERA assessment. Therefore, the WERA assessment has been designed for easy and quick use, and for those who are trained to use it do not need previous skills in observation techniques although this would be an advantage. As WERA is a pen and paper technique that can be used without any special equipment, WERA assessment can be done in any space of workplaces without disruption to the task that have been observed.
Acute supplementation of Panax ginseng (PG) is known not to impose any significant effect on endurance performance of recreational Malaysian runners, while caffeine augments the ergogenic property of some herbs. The present study was aimed to examine the effects of acute supplementation of caffeine and PG on endurance running performance in a hot and humid condition. Nine heat adapted Malaysian recreational runners (age : 25.4 ± 6.9 years, body mass : 57.6 ± 8.4 kg; body height : 168.3 ± 7.6 cm) ingested either placebo or combined dose of 5 mg x kg(-1) of body weight of caffeine and 200 mg of PG one hour before the running on treadmill at 70% of VO2(max) in this placebo-controlled double blind randomised study in a laboratory environment of 31 degrees C and 70% relative humidity. They drank 3 ml x kg(-1) of body weight of cool water every 20 minutes during the exercise to prevent dehydration. Blood samples were withdrawn and oxygen uptake was recorded every 20 minutes while heart rate, core body temperature, skin temperature and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded every 10 minutes during the trials. Endurance time was significantly different (P < 0.05) between experimental and placebo trials. Heart rate, skin temperature, core body temperature, oxygen uptake, RPE, plasma insulin, glucose, free fatty acid and lactate levels during the endurance exercise did not show any significant difference between the trials. Thus, we conclude that combined and acute supplementation of caffeine and PG in the said doses improved the endurance running performance of the heat-adapted male recreational runners.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of body part symptoms and sources of injury/discomfort among workers in a car tyre service centre. Questionnaire survey and interview session were used to identify the level of body discomfort areas and sources of injury or discomfort. From questionnaire survey findings, 12 of respondents have body discomfort in the neck (66.7%%), shoulder (83.3%), elbow/forearm (75%), hand/wrist (91.7%), knee (58.3%), lower leg (75%), ankle/foot (33%) and lower back (30%). The main sources of injury/discomfort in the workplace were poor body posture (75%), bending the back (75%), highly repetitive motions (75%), lifting heavy objects (83.3%), the long-term standing (66.7%), long-term squatting (58.3%), bending the neck (66.7%) and high hand force (58.3%). About 50% reported that poor workplace design also contributed to injury while 41.7% mentioned the use of hand tools. To address modifying the ergonomic hazards, engineering controls and administrative controls can be used. The study will be useful to ergonomists, researchers, consultants, workshop managers, maintenance workers and others concerned with identifying body part symptoms and sources of injury/discomfort at the workplace.
This study presents a comparison of the anthropometric characteristics of 241 Malaysian and 646 Saudi Arabian males aged 20 to 30 years. The mean values, standard deviation (SD), and 5th and 95th percentile values of 26 measurements and 22 proportions of each group were given. The results showed that there were significant differences in a number of body dimensions between these populations, except for eye height and elbow height (standing) and height, eye height, shoulder height, and elbow height (sitting). These results are important for the ergonomic design of workstations, personal protective equipment, tools, interface systems and furniture: The presented data may be useful for providing a safer, more productive and user-friendly workplace for Malaysian and Saudi Arabian populations.
A methodology is developed in diagnosing the effect of job organizational factors on job satisfaction in two automotive industries in Malaysia. One hundred and seventy male subjects of age 18-40 years with the mean age of 26.8 and standard deviation (SD) of 5.3 years and the mean work experience of 6.5 years and SD of 4.9 years took part in the study. Five job organizational factors were tested in the study including job rotation, work method, training, problem solving and goal setting. A job organization questionnaire was designed and was based on respondents' perception in relation to job satisfaction. The results showed that job organization factors were significantly related to job satisfaction. Job rotation, work method, training and goal setting showed strong correlation with job satisfaction while problem solving had intermediate correlation in the first automotive industry. On the other hand, most job organization factors showed intermediate correlation with job satisfaction in the second automotive industry except the training factor which had low correlation with job satisfaction. These results highlight that job rotation, work methods, problem solving and goal setting are outstanding factors in the study of job satisfaction for automotive industries.
Personal computers are one of the commonest office tools in Malaysia today. Their usage, even for three hours per day, leads to a health risk of developing Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS), Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), low back pain, tension headaches and psychosocial stress. The study was conducted to investigate how a multiethnic society in Malaysia is coping with these problems that are increasing at a phenomenal rate in the west. This study investigated computer usage, awareness of ergonomic modifications of computer furniture and peripherals, symptoms of CVS and risk of developing OOS. A cross-sectional questionnaire study of 136 computer users was conducted on a sample population of university students and office staff. A 'Modified Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) for office work' technique was used for evaluation of OOS. The prevalence of CVS was surveyed incorporating a 10-point scoring system for each of its various symptoms. It was found that many were using standard keyboard and mouse without any ergonomic modifications. Around 50% of those with some low back pain did not have an adjustable backrest. Many users had higher RULA scores of the wrist and neck suggesting increased risk of developing OOS, which needed further intervention. Many (64%) were using refractive corrections and still had high scores of CVS commonly including eye fatigue, headache and burning sensation. The increase of CVS scores (suggesting more subjective symptoms) correlated with increase in computer usage spells. It was concluded that further onsite studies are needed, to follow up this survey to decrease the risks of developing CVS and OOS amongst young computer users.
The last 20 years have seen a tremendous growth in the field of computing with special reference to mobile computing. Ergonomic issues pertaining to this theme remains unexplored. With special reference to readability in mobile computing, an experimental research was conducted to study the gender effect on human performance under the impact of vibration in a human computer interaction environment. Fourteen subjects (7 males and 7 females) participated in the study. Three independent variables, namely gender, level of vibration and screen text/background colour, were selected for the experimental investigation while the dependent variable was the number of characters read per minute. The data collected were analyzed statistically through an experimental design for repeated measures. Results indicated that gender as an organismic variable, the level of vibration and screen text/background colour revealed statistically significant differences. However, the second order interaction was found to be statistically non-significant. These findings are discussed in light of the previous studies undertaken on the topic.
A survey was conducted to investigate the relationship between job satisfaction and job factors that affect work design in two automotives manufacturing companies in Malaysia. A set of multiple choices questionnaires was developed and data were collected by interviewing the employees at the production plant. Hundred and seventy male subjects between the ages of 18 to 40 years with the mean age of 26.8 and SD of 5.3 years and mean work experience of 6.5 and SD of 4.9 years took part in the survey. The survey focused on job factors, i.e. skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback. The results support the previous findings that job factors are significantly correlated to job satisfaction. Furthermore, it also highlights the significant influence of age, work experience and marital status.
The analyses of a few tasks were carried out in an electronics factory. The main objectives are to identify the ergonomic and biomechanical hazards of problem work tasks, to analyze each task systematically in order to evaluate the workers' exposures to the risk factors of force, posture pressure and repetition and to make recommendations to reduce the risks and hazards. The methodology includes objective measures--detailed analysis by going through training manuals, job description and production records. Subjective measures include interviewing the operator and supervisors informally, the operators were also required to fill in a structured questionnaire. The paper concludes by making recommendations to reduce the ergonomic hazards by engineering solutions, redesign or administrative controls or the implementation of procedures.