Risks and Hazards at Rotary Screen Printing (Part 4/6): Manual Materials-Handling

Diana Starovoytova


This-study aimed at identification of occupational-hazards and risks, associated with manual materials- handling (MMH), incorporating manual-lifting, but excluding pushing and pulling. The-study was limited to-printing-section, of a-textile-mill. Questionnaire, observations, and document-analysis, were the-main- research-instruments. Pre-testing, of the-questionnaire, was done, according to the-ISO 20252:2006 (E). Reliability (the-Cronbach’s co-efficient) was obtained via SPPS-17, version 22, and established high-inter –item-consistency (α >0.87). Descriptive-statistics was employed to-analyze both; qualitative and quantitative-data. The-study established, that some-MMH practices, in the-department, are hazardous and risky, and can-contribute to Musculoskeletal-injuries and/or Musculoskeletal-Disorders. In-particular, absolute-majority of the-respondents, reported, that MMH was their-daily-responsibility; and also-stated, that the-loads, they handle, were, largely, both; heavy (20-50kg), bulky (too-wide (> 50 cm)), and long (> 30cm). Moreover, the-mainstream indicated, that: (1) heavy-loads (rolls of fabric, and containers of dyes/pigments/solvents) were lifted manually, in awkward-working-positions, solo (without help), and with not knowing of the-weight of the-load, to be-lifted; in-addition, inadequate/ short-handholds made lifting more-precarious, increasing the-risk of injuries, and of dropping the-load; (2) material-handling-equipment was not in-good-condition; considerable-force was needed to-push, or pull, equipment, such-as trolleys; (3) repetitive-tasks, and movements, were-routinely carried-out; and (4) the-floor was uneven and sloping, making the-movement of goods, even-more-difficult. Numerous-tailored-recommendations included: preventive technical/engineering-measures (mechanization, and rearrangement of workplace); and organizational/administrative-measures (job-rotation, task-specific training, proper-machine and plant maintenance, including Total Productive Maintenance, and good housekeeping), among-others. The-study also-offered a-review of theoretical-background on: Standards for manual-handling; NIOSH-lifting- equation; Preferred-position and zone, for safe-lifting; and Lifting-Principles. The-study is important; foremost, for the-mill-administration, as knowing the-hazards is a-paramount-step on the-road, to their-eradication, or reduction. Furthermore, this-unfunded-study also contributed (in its-small-way) to the-body of knowledge, on the-subject-matter.  

Keywords: lifting, heavy load, awkward posture, repetitive tasks, MH, MMH.

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