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NJIT IE 665 - Anthropometric measurement of Filipino manufacturing workers

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Anthropometric measurement of Filipino manufacturing workersIntroductionMaterials and methodsResultsDiscussionConclusionReferencesInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 37 (2007) 497–503Anthropometric measurement of Filipino manufacturing workersJinky Leilanie Del Prado-Lua,b,aNational Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila, Pedro Gil Street, Ermita, Manila, PhilippinesbResearch Division, Bureau of Working Conditions, Department of Labor and Employment, Intramuros, Metro Manila, PhilippinesReceived 29 May 2006; received in revised form 31 January 2007; accepted 6 February 2007Available online 28 March 2007AbstractThis study conducted anthropometric measurements among 1805 Filipino workers in 31 manufacturing industries. Anthropometricdata were measured for standing, sitting, hand and foot dimensions, breadth and circumference of the various body parts, and gripstrength. The workplace assessment survey was also done among respondents coming from the subject population to look into thecommon work and health problems that may be associated with ergonomic hazards at work. The data gathered can be applied for theergonomic design of workstations, personal protective equipment, tools, interface systems, and furniture that aid in providing a safer,more productive, and user-friendly workplace for the Filipino working population. This is the first ever comprehensive anthropometricmeasurement of Filipino manufacturing workers in the country which is seen as a significant contribution to the Filipino labor force whoare increasingly employed by both domestic and foreign multinationals.r 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Keywords: Anthropometric measurements; Ergonomic design; Workplace assessment; Health and safety of workers1. IntroductionAnthropometry is the science of measurement andthe art of application that establishes the physicalgeometry, mass properties, and strength capabilities ofthe human body. The uses of anthropometry in theworkplace include: (1) to evaluate posture s and distancesto reach controls; (2) to specify clearances separating thebody from hazards such as surrounding equipments; (3) toidentify objects or elements that constrict movement; and(4) to assist in the biomechanical analysis of forces andtorque.The anthropom etric measurements performed in thisstudy can be used as a basis for the ergonomic design ofPPEs and workstations that can make work environmentssafer an d more user-friendly. Currently, there is increasingdemand for this kind of information among those whodevelop measures to prevent occupational injur ies. In theUnited States, the body size or body segment measure-ments of some occupational groups differ significantlycompared to others. This implies that caution must beexercised in selecting databases for the design andevaluation of machinery, human–machine interfaces andPPEs (Hsieh et al., 2002).This is the first ever comprehensive anthropometricmeasurement of Filipino workers in the country which isseen as a significant contribution to the Filipino labor forcewho are increasingly employed both in the local andinternational market, and by both domestic and foreignmultinationals who put up their subsidiary plants in thePhilippines. In fact, the top revenue export of thePhilippines comes from electronics which is part of thestudy population.The workplace assessment survey was also used to lookinto the common work and health problems that may beassociated with ergonomic hazards at work. The data willassist regulatory bodies and manufacturers for an overviewof health and work issues in the manufacturing sectorwhich should be addressed to obtain both healthy workenvironment and productivity. The baseline study onanthropometry could be correlated with workplace asses s-ment in future studies.ARTICLE IN PRESSwww.elsevier.com/locate/ergon0169-8141/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.ergon.2007.02.004Mailing address. Unit 1514 President tower, 81 Timog Avenue,Quezon City, Philippines. Tel.: +63 2 526 4266; fax: +63 2 259 9356.E-mail address: [email protected] Materials and methodsFrom the sampling plan provided by the export zones, 31different kinds of manufacturing industries were randomlyselected. Export zones host multinational companies thatoperate and hire Filipino laborers at lower wages, and betterinvestment and trading benefits not readily available outsidethe zone. This is a strategy adopted by the government toattract multinational investment in the country. Export zonesare special economic and social enclaves in developingcountries. The benefits given to transnational corporations(TNCs) in export zones in the Philippines include: 100%ownership, no duties, no taxes nor license fees on imports tothe zone, the privilege to borrow from Philippine banks, notaxes on exports, no minimum investment requirement, andunrestricted repatriation of capital and profits (Rowbothamand Mitter, 1994).A proportionate random sampling was done from eachindustry based on the existing workforce involving only theassembly-line production workers. The sample populationwas 1805. Experimenters were all researchers from theoccupational health and safety research division. Trainingof experimenters and observer s were done rigorously for 2months before the cond uct of the study involving orienta-tion on the obj ectives and methodology of the study,lecture series on the measurement protocol using bodylandmarks which are stable, series of pre-measurementsamong experimenters to establish accuracy of measur e-ment, and correct body positioning. They were trained onhow to conduct the measurement in reference to stablebody landmarks used in biomechanics. Labeling landmarksbefore taking measurements improved precision, as wasalso shown in the study of Weinberg et al. in 2004. Forinstance, upper arm length was measured from theacromial process to the tip of the elbow. Measurementon one subject was done twice by the same person, and assuch intrareliability measured was r ¼ 0.8.Body physique or anthropometric measurements were doneusing tape measure, a goniometer, calipers and anthrop-ometers to measure body segment length, height, breadth,depth, and circumference. Examples of such measurementsare hip breadth, crotch length, functional leg length, buttock–knee length, knee height, popliteal height and others.After the anthropometric measurement, a workplaceassessment survey was conducted among


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