Title: Design and evaluation of an ergonomic polisher for handcrafted Kalash polishing workers in north-east India

Authors: Krishna Chaitanya Mallampalli; Swati Pal

Addresses: Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, Guwahati 781 039, Assam, India ' Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, Powai, Mumbai 400 076, Maharashtra, India

Abstract: Like various traditional handicrafts in India, handcrafted Kalash is well-known traditional handicraft produced in small-scale industries of Hajo, north-east India. This Kalash requires polishing, which is performed by polishing workers with a traditional polisher in stooping position. Through a field study, 40 polishing workers were interviewed regarding musculoskeletal symptoms (MSS) using Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ). Among the workers, the lower back, upper back, elbows, and hands/wrists problems were most common. Based on the problems found, an ergonomic polisher was designed and evaluated using a digital human modelling approach in CATIA software. Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) test was used for analysing postures in both existing and new polishers. The results of RULA revealed that the new polisher improved the working posture noticeably in comparison to the existing one. Therefore, it is concluded that implementation of the proposed solution in a pragmatic way would reduce MSS among handcrafted Kalash polishing workers.

Keywords: handicrafts; musculoskeletal symptoms; Kalash polishing workers; DHM; small-scale industries; ergonomic design; Rapid Upper Limb Assessment; RULA.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2022.10046156

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2022 Vol.9 No.2, pp.163 - 181

Published online: 18 Apr 2022 *

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