Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine   Official publication of Indian Association of  0ccupational  Health  
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 60-65

Musculoskeletal disorders of garo women workers engaged in tea-plucking activity: An ergonomic analysis

1 Department of Management, North-Eastern Hill University, Tura Campus, Meghalaya, India
2 Department of Family Resource Management, College of Community Science, Central Agricultural University, Tura, Meghalaya, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Deepak Bhagat
Department of Management, North-Eastern Hill University, Tura Campus, Meghalaya-794002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_185_19

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Background: The tea-plucking activity in Garo Hills, Meghalaya, India is performed in a traditional way making the majority of women workers, especially those who have spent more years in tea-plucking activity prone to musculoskeletal disorders. Materials and Methods: The present study was conducted on a sample of 40 women workers who had the highest field experience in tea leaf plucking. Pain as a musculoskeletal disorder was recorded using a 5-point scale ranging from very mild pain (1) to very severe discomfort (5) to quantify the stress on muscles used in work. The coefficient of correlation was used to explore the relationship between age, years of involvement, BMI of women, and their musculoskeletal problem. The analysis of discomfort in upper extremity was done by using a rapid upper limb assessment (RULA) technique. Analysis of discomfort in entire body parts was carried out using a rapid entire body assessment (REBA) technique. Results and Discussion: During tea plucking, women workers reported severe discomfort in the head (4.5), neck (4.3), both fingers (4.2), upper and lower back (4.3 and 4.4), and feet (4.3). The RULA grand score was observed seven indicating the need for immediate investigation and changes. REBA result was 11 for entire body parts leading to conclude that workers were working under high physical strain. Conclusion: Workers with severe musculoskeletal disorders can face permanent disability that prevents them from returning to their jobs or handling simple everyday tasks. Therefore, some rest periods, ergonomic intervention, and personal protective equipment are needed to minimize the discomfort of women workers in the tea-plucking activity.


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