An Assessment of Manual Handling Hazards at a Mechanical Workshop. A Case Study of National Railways of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo


Diploma Thesis, 2019

56 Pages


Excerpt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

ABSTRACT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

List of figures

List of Tables

ACRONYMS

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Objectives
1.3.1 General objective
1.3.2 Specific objective
1.4 Justification of the study
1.5 Scope of the study
1.6 Limitations of the study
1.7 Chapter summary

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.2 Conceptual framework
2.2 Trends of occupational accidents and injuries in Zimbabwe
2.3 Overview of manual handling
2.4 Manual handling Risk factors
2.5 Effects of manual handling
2.7 Management of manual handling hazards
2.7.1 Hazard identification
2.7.2 Engineering Controls
2.7.3 Administrative controls.
2.7.4 Personal protective equipment’s/ Clothes
2.8 Influence of manual handling training and awareness to employees
2.9 Knowledge gap
2.10 Chapter Summary

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1. Introduction
3.2 Research Design
3.3 Target Population
3.4 Sample Size Determination
3.5 Methods of Data Collection
3.5.1 Questionnaires
3.5.2 Interviews
3.5.3 Field Observations
3.5.4 Secondary Data
3.6 Data analysis and presentation
3.7 Ethical considerations
3.8 Reliability and Validity
3.9 Chapter summary

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Demographic characteristics of respondents
4.2.1 Response rate
4.2.2 Gender of respondents
4.2.3 Age of Respondents
4.2.4 Level of Education
4.2.5 Work experience
4.3 Manual Handling hazards
4.3.1 Forceful exertion/ efforts
4.3.2 Unstable loads
4.3.3 Vibration exposure
4.3.4 Repetitive movements
4.3.5 Awkward postures
4.4 Effects of Manual handling hazards
4.4.1 Manual Handling related injuries on a five years period
4.5 Level of awareness of workers on MH hazards
4.5.1 Respondents knowledge on MH
4.5.2 Awareness level of MH hazards.
4.6 Manual Handling control measures
4.6.1 Safe operating procedures and training
4.6.2 Safety Audits
4.6.3 Personal protective clothing / equipment
4.6.4 Legal framework guiding manual handling
4.6.5 Responses on evaluating control measures
4.7 Chapter summary

CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Conclusion
5.2 Recommendations
5.3 Chapter Summary

Reference List

Appendices

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Almighty God for in him all things were made possible. More so l would like to extend my gratitude to Mr L Mpofu for his unwavering support, guidance, patience and professional advice he offered during my study. Special thanks to the NRZ mechanical workshop employees and the SHE practitioner Mrs Mkwananzi for their patience and assistance during my research. I would also want to thank my friends Gamuchirai, Sincinyani and Kudzaishe for their support in their course of my project. Lastly I would like to thank my parents and family for their moral support during the work of my research.

ABSTRACT

This study assessed the manual handling hazards at the NRZ mechanical workshop in Bulawayo. The objectives of the research were the identification of MH hazards, determine the level of awareness of workers on manual handling issues and assessment of the control measures put in place at the organisation to deal with manual handling issues. The researcher adopted a case study research design while incorporating both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Five workshops were only selected namely Wagon, Fitting, Machine, Foundry and Carriage resulting in a sample of 153 questionnaire respondents which were distributed in a randomly. Key informants who were interviewed was the SHE practitioner, nurse in charge, and workshop foremen. More data was also gathered from relevant secondary data sources as well as from field observations. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse data and specifically using the Chi-Square test to establish correlations. The result indicated that the majority of the respondents are not aware of manual handling as revealed by the 73% of the respondents who indicated that they are not aware of manual handling. A number of manual handling hazards were identified which comprise of awkward postures, repetitive movements and vibration exposure which result in a number of injuries which are known as musculoskeletal disorders which encompass cuts muscle strain, sprains chronic pain and minor injuries, The research also noted that the measures which are put in place by management in dealing with manual handling are not effective as they lack strategic action thereby limiting the success of the measures. It was finally concluded that there is need to consider ergonomic interventions in the day to day operations of the company in order to reduce work related risk factors and injuries which come as a result of manual handling. Recommendations were also forwarded to the nation and company on how to address manual handling issues.

List of figures

Fig 2.1 Conceptual Framework

Fig 4.1 Questionnaire Response Rate

Fig 4.2 Gender of Respondents

Fig 4.3 Level of education of respondents

Fig 4.4 Types of MH hazards

Fig 4.5 Injuries resulting from manual handling

Fig 4.6 injuries recorded relating to MH

Fig 4.7 Respondents knowledge on MH.’

Fig 4.8 Respondent’s level of awareness

List of Tables

Table 2.1 Occupational injuries from all workplaces in Zimbabwe

Table 2.2 Occupational injuries from all workplaces in Zimbabwe

Table 2.3 Occupational injuries from all workplaces in Zimbabwe

Table 2.4 Common MMSDs that affect the upper limbs

Table 3.1: Workshops at the NRZ

Table 4.1 Age of Respondents

Table 4.2: Chi-Square Test for work experience and knowledge of MH

Table 4.3: Respondents attendance of Ergonomic related issues

Table 4.4: Chi-Square Test for the type of PPE provided and frequency for provision

Table 4.5 Responses for control measures' strategies for action

Table 4.6 Chi-Square test for the measure’s lack of clarity on strategies for action and effective of these measures

ACRONYMS

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Introduction

Manual handling (MH) is any transportation or supporting of a load by one or more workers and it encompass the following activities: lifting, holding, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving of a load. The load can either be animate which consist of people and animals or inanimate which comprise of boxes, tools. MH has become a problematic areas in various workplaces as it have exposed workers to various hazards. The International Labour Organization (ILO, 2013), alluded that more than one hundred million workers suffer from occupational diseases or accidents every year globally. The statistics of the Global Burden of diseases which has been developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), reported that muscular skeletal diseases (MSDs) contributes 37% of the disease burden which is attributable to occupational risk factors (Johnson and Widyanti, 2011).Therefore this calls for researches to be conducted in relation to manual handling.

The history of the National railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) dates back to around 1897 with the establishment of the first railway line which linked Zimbabwe with Mozambique. The primary reasons for the establishment of the railway line was to foster for the transportation of minerals and agricultural products to the sea. In 1902 another railway line was constructed linking the currently known Harare and Bulawayo. After wards the construction of railway line continue to spear heard as in 1903 Zimbabwe was now linked to Zambia and in 1909 the railway line was now connecting Zimbabwe and the republic of Congo. All this work was facilitated by the Beira- Rhodesia railway company. In 1 October 1927 there was the establishment of the Rhodesia railway company which managed railways systems in the currently known Zimbabwe and Zambia. The name NRZ was adopted on 1 May 1980 since the country had gained its independence from colonial rule.

Development in the company continue to be noticeable as in 1992 the company acquired 11 diesel electrical locomotives to necessitate the transportation of high volume goods. In 1997, there was de regularisation of the transport system and this was a turning point in the history of NRZ as the company was now allowed to operate as a commercial entity and therefore competing with other play in the transport industry. In the year 2001 the company introduced the commuter train services in Harare and Bulawayo so as to cushion urban commuters from rising transport costs. The increased demand of services offered by the company, the mechanical workshop in Bulawayo was then established.

The NRZ mechanical workshop offers a number of engineering services which are done in the various workshops. The workshops are geared to maintain and refurbish locomotives and rolling stock, and manufacture various inputs and spares for the entire railways system, mining and engineering industries. All these activities involve a lot of manual handling which has exposed a number of workers at the various workshops and this has been evidenced by the statistics from accidents registers within the company. Most of the work require a lot of lifting as most of the lifting aids are no longer functional and this is known to cause Muscular skeletal disorders (MSDs) among workers. Some of the workshops which are characterised by activities involving a lot of lifting include foundry, wagon, machine and fitting.

Pushing and pulling of loads are also associated with MH and these are commonly associated with the manufacturing industry. Pulling and pushing of heavy loads have exposed workers at the workshop to hazards and this has resulted in occupational accidents and injuries within the workshop. Occupational Accidents and injuries are known to cause great consequences such as reduced productivity and medical costs. Therefore it is against this background that the research was conducted aiming to assess the MH hazards at NRZ mechanical workshop.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The NRZ mechanical workshop is characterised by MH of heavy objects, awkward postures, bending and performing similar tasks repetitively other ergonomic hazards are experienced. There have been recorded and unrecorded complaints of backaches, pain of the wrist, cuts, thermal injuries, sprains and strains at the workshop. In 2017 and 2018 a total of 76 accidents were recorded within the various shops at the workshop. Of the total accidents recorded between the two years, 34were attributed to manual handling hence resulting in injuries which included cuts, burns, bruises, sprains and strains. Other injuries accumulate over time and it is because of this nature that some of the injuries develop unnoticed and some employees lack adequate knowledge hence they opt to continue working without paying attention to these in order to earn a living. Therefore given the current conflict between production and worker’s safety in the area of study, this study aims to assess the impacts of manual handling hazards and come up with recommendations on how basic ergonomic principles can be applied to control ergonomic hazards.

1.3 Objectives

1.3.1 General objective

To assess the manual handling hazards associated with the mechanical workshop.

1.3.2 Specific objective

- To identify manual handling hazards in the workshop and their related effects.
- To determine the level of awareness of workers on manual handling hazards related to their work.
- To assess the effectiveness of control measures put in place to deal with manual handling hazards.

1.4 Justification of the study

A study in manual handling in present day society is vital in improving workplaces .The benefits of studying manual handling include improved workers’ health and safety and increased production and profits. Sound ergonomic principles in designing task and human-machine relationships reduces design induced human errors and also helps prevent significant occupational health and safety risks hence this study is justified as it investigates ergonomic hazards found in the manufacturing industry and it fills in the knowledge gap.

Furthermore the results can be used to educate the workers in the mechanical workshop at NRZ and other engineering workshops and the manufacturing industries in Zimbabwe such as Bata Shoe Company, Sable chemicals to fully understand the importance of having an Ergonomic programme being implemented at a work station. Mining entities especially artisanal and small scale mining areas can also benefit from this and implement a manual handling programme. It reduces the impact of ergonomic hazards increasing their safety, assets protection and job satisfaction.

In addition to the above the research will also be of fundamental importance to learning institutions as well as the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) department of the country. The research can be used as a source of reference by other future researchers. Academicians interested in the field of manual handling can also find this study beneficial as it can be one of the starting points for future research in the country. The study brings together in a short form some recommendations on addressing Ergonomic hazards and problems being faced by other organisations to fully in-cooperate the Ergonomic Principles in their operations. This provides some useful frameworks to some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other Institutions who wish to have convenient projects in addressing OHS problems in the manufacturing industries of Zimbabwe. This study is essential to justify the projects/programmes already put in place in various organisations and paves the way for future initiatives which help fit the job to the worker.

1.5 Scope of the study

The study was carried at the NRZ mechanical workshop which offers engineering services for the manufacturing of various components of locomotives, wagons and coaches. The research incorporated workers from various workshops who perform day to day activities.

1.6 Limitations of the study

In the process of carrying out the study a number of limitations were encountered; firstly the timeframe for the researcher was inadequate and this resulted in the researcher only targeting a few workshops which have high case of manual handling. In addition to the above some of the respondents did not respond but however the response rate was valid and reliable.

1.7 Chapter summary

The chapter basically highlights the background of the study, the problem, research objectives and the justification of the study in relation to MH. It also highlights the scope of the study as well as limitations which were faced by the researcher in the overrun of the study.

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.2 Conceptual framework

The conceptual framework in Fig 2.1 below shows the relationship between MH exposure and work procedures that can lead to presence of MSDs. MH risk factors such as heavy weight lifting, repetitive motions, working in awkward postures have a predisposing catalytic impact to development of MSDs.

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Fig 2.1 Conceptual Framework

2.2 Trends of occupational accidents and injuries in Zimbabwe

According to the Occupational, Safety and Health Annual Statistics Report (2011), Occupational, Safety and Health is relatively improving since a 1.67 in 2010 was subsequently reduced to 1.56 in 2011 thereby making an improvement of 6.02%. In absolute figures there were 4158 lost time injuries (LTI) with 75 fatalities. The national employment figures of the NSSA budget remained at 1 332 228 workers all of which needed daily safety and health protection. Unfortunately 4158 that is 0.31% of them incurred lost time injuries. The data is displayed in Table 2.1 below.

Table 2.1 Occupational injuries from all workplaces in Zimbabwe (figures in brackets are fatalities)

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Source: Occupational, Safety and Health Annual Statistics Report (2011).

Table 2.1 above reveals the data for 2011 from all regions in Zimbabwe showing the total worker’s population for the year as well as injuries and fatalities per year per region. Lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) is the rate of occurrence of workplace accidents that result in an employee’s inability to work the next full work day (OSHA, 2014). It can be the number of work related injuries that occur within a given period relative to the total number of hours worked in the same accounting period .According to the Occupational, Safety and Health Annual Statistics Report (2012), the Occupational Safety and Health performance in 2012 was not entirely pleasing when viewed from the angle of rising serious occupational injuries and fatalities. 5 140 workers were seriously injured and 107 of them died while the year 2011 recorded 4158 occupational serious injuries with 75 fatalities. The lost time injury frequency rate deteriorated by 23.72% from 2011 to 2012.The target was to improve it by at least 2% in the same period. Reported fatalities increased by 46.67% from 2011 to 2012.This is shown by the Table 2.2.

Table 2.2 Occupational injuries from all workplaces in Zimbabwe (figures in brackets are fatalities)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Annual Statistics Report (2012).

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Annual Statistics Report (2013), the 2013 number of serious occupational injuries is 5666 and resulted in 76 fatalities raising LTIFR to 2.34. This LTIFR is 21.24% above that of 2012 which experienced 5140 serious occupational injuries with 107 fatalities amounting to a lost time injury frequency rate of 1.93. It is clear that the number accidents went up in 2013 by 21% even though the average number of workers in formal employment and contributing to NSSA fell to 1 208 402 from 1 332 228 in 2012. The capacity utilisation fell in 2013 to 39.6% as compared to 44% in 2012. It would appear therefore that Occupational Safety and Health’s performance suffers greatly when the economy is not performing well .A point of celebration is that there were fewer deaths in 2013 by 29% despite the elevated number of serious accidents as compared to 2012.This is shown in figures in Table 2.3.

Table 2.3 Occupational injuries from all workplaces in Zimbabwe (figures in brackets are fatalities)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Annual Statistics Report (2013).

2.3 Overview of manual handling

MH activities are defined as any task requiring the use of force exerted by a person to lift, lower, push, carry and restrain any animate or inanimate objects. MH also encompass tasks involving repetitive or forceful movements and the maintenance of constrained or awkward postures which can result in in occupational overuse syndrome. Occupational overuse syndrome is basically a term used to describe a range of conditions characterised by discomfort or persistent pain in the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues with either physical manifestation or without.

According to the Fourth European Working Conditions Survey (2005), it was revealed that 35% of all workers in Europe are exposed to the risk of carrying or moving heavy loads for at least a quarter of their working time. The highest exposure rates are commonly found amongst the agricultural, manufacturing and mining industries. The most vulnerable group to MH hazards is generally the young workforce. A sectorial breakdown of rates of exposure to manual handling shows that workers in agriculture, construction, hotels and restaurants are most likely to be exposed to heavy loads (68%, 64% and 48% respectively), followed by workers in the sectors of manufacturing and mining, wholesale and retail trade (close to 42%), and transport and communications (35%).

2.4 Manual handling Risk factors

Collins et al (2011) highlights that MH risk factors are the work conditions and methods that have the potential to harm the musculoskeletal system. There are a number of risk factors that make MH of loads hazardous and increase the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. The risk factors can be categorised into 4 groups namely the load, working environment, individual and task. The above mentioned factors expose workers to MH hazards if are not managed properly and will result in injuries.

The characteristic of the load become a risk factor since there are so many things to consider on the load such as the size, weight, sharp edges and the structure of the load. Basically heavy and bulk loads which requires lifting tend to increase the risk of MSDs. Coupled with this it must also be noted that different individual have different capabilities which are based on their gender, age, medical history, physical fitness and experience. Therefore some individuals are more prone to MH hazards than others thus tasks must be assigned taking into cognisance of the individual’s capabilities. According to Warren (2016), females are more vulnerable to MH as compared to their male counterparts. Work environment is also a critical factor in MH given that is the adequate working space that will not confine the personnel, state of the machine is also very important given that some machines vibrate and exposure to such a condition will result in injuries and even accidents. Lastly the task is also considered given that some job tasks require a lot of lifting and repetitive movements that may strain muscles and resulting into problems.

2.5 Effects of manual handling

Neglecting issues to deal with MH at workplaces produces both financial and health-related problems. Vaidogas (2010) further revealed that that the matter gets even more complicated as the health problems tend to multiply the company’s financial problems and this is mainly due the increased burdens of workers compensation and paying salaries to injured employees who will be off duty because of these occupational injuries and illnesses. Some of the common indicators of the presence of MH problems are employee complaints of musculoskeletal disorders, rising trends in accidents and injuries, absenteeism, low and poor quality production. MSDSs account for more than 30% of all occupational injuries in the United States while in the European Union they account for over 50% (Vaidogas, 2010). MSDSs affect almost the whole body but literature have indicated that they mostly affect the neck, shoulders, back and upper limbs (Collins et al 2011 and Kadiri and Niesing 2012) the table 2.4 shows some of the common work-related MSDs of the upper limbs.

Table 2.4 Common MMSDs that affect the upper limbs

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Source: Collins et al (2011)

Bhattachanya and McGlothlin (2012) also indicated that despite the spread of mechanization in industry, MSDs attributed to MH are still a major cause of lost work time. These MSDs include a variety of injuries or disorders of the wrists, arm, shoulder, neck and back as well as upper and lower extremities. There are a variety of MH activities that increase a worker’s risk of developing a work related MSD, including jobs that involve a significant amount of manual lifting, pushing, pulling or carrying.

Pew and Mavor (2007) observed that discomfort serves as an early warning sign for injury. In addition, discomfort can itself be costly as it affects the quality or at times the quantity of work performed. Workers therefore should report any discomfort as early as possible to minimize its effects on their health and production as it is one of the effects of MH. Failure to account for the user’s physical limitations and capabilities when designing systems can result in decreased performance and productivity, discomfort, cumulative trauma or injury and even death.

2.7 Management of manual handling hazards

According to Faucet et al, (2002), an industry can have hazards and the hazards can be dealt with to make the workplace hazard free. Henry (2004) postulates that MH issues can be best managed through reorganizing, or redesigning the workstation, by allowing employees to rotate jobs, decreasing the number of repetitions required in the task, reducing the force required in the task, providing education training on correct posture for the tasks and encourage stretches during break times. Below are the MH hazards controls.

2.7.1 Hazard identification

The risk factors in the workplace must be identified first in order to reduce musculoskeletal disorders and other ergonomic hazards effectively and then practical measures taken to reduce the risks (Vaidogas, 2010). These can be achieved through partaking risk assessments, health surveillance, training, ergonomic work systems which involve studying the effect of the whole work station, equipment, work methods, and work organisation to identify problems and solutions also preventing fatigue. Bhattachanya and McGlothlin (2012) also proposed a systematic way of identifying hazards which can be effective in eliminating the incidence and costs of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. This involves identification, that is, ergonomic job analysis. This is the methodology used by engineers and safety professionals to describe work activities for the purpose of comparing existing task demands to human capabilities. The process of identifying hazards arising from poor work design involves reviewing of records to identify jobs associated with high rate of accidents and injuries; and becoming familiar with the processes and job activities that are performed in each work area.

2.7.2 Engineering Controls

According to (Jerie 2012), engineering controls are the technical measures employed so as to deal with MH hazards through reducing the work load. Engineering controls also encompass the physical modification of task, process, workstation, tools and equipment in a way that will help in preventing any harm or danger. Technical interventions also integrate redesigning of the physical environment and introduction of lifting and transfer aids (Jerie, 2012). Examples of engineering controls include introducing lifting mechanisms in industries, redesigning workstation layouts, reducing vibrations effects by using robotic arms, changing the operation process, use of machines to reduce repetitive and awkward postures.

2.7.3 Administrative controls.

These are controls which include the use of workplace policies, work procedures and practices which prevent the exposure of the employees to MH hazards by using administrative techniques such as adding number of employees to conduct a certain job, job rotation, introducing recovery breaks, training and awareness programs. Administrative controls involve changing how or when employees do their jobs, such as scheduling work and rotating employees to reduce exposure (Spellman 2006). A multidisciplinary approach in controlling the occurrences of MH injuries is required including organisational, technical and personal measures (Vaidogas 2010; Kadiri and Niesing 2012). Administrative controls are considered less effective than engineering controls because they reduce the frequency and duration of risk exposure thereby not reducing the hazard directly at the source.

2.7.4 Personal protective equipment’s/ Clothes

When none of the above approaches is feasible, or when the degree of safety achieved by them is considered inadequate, the only solution is to provide exposed persons with suitable personal protective equipment (PPE). The use of PPE is considered as the last priority because it does not eliminate the ergonomic hazards but it can work to reduce or minimize exposure to the hazard. According to Spellman (2006) using PPE is often essential, but it is generally the last line of defence after engineering controls, work practices and administrative controls. It is used when hazards are not controllable from the source. PPE include the use of helmets, safety shoes, gloves, goggles, earmuffs, to mention just a few and all these provide support and shield the employee from the hazard therefore reducing exposure. However it should be noted that the purchasing of PPE/C should be in compliance with the standards set by the competent authority and take MH principles into account. It is critical to ensure that introduced PPE controls fit the individual employee, are appropriate for the task, and do not contribute to extreme postures or force.

2.8 Influence of manual handling training and awareness to employees

According to (Patkin 1987) application of ergonomics result in improved working techniques, reducing human errors and accidents and increased efficiency. Training is the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform more effectively (Blanchard & Thacker, 1999). Poor MH techniques can results to slow development of diseases such as Cumulative trauma disorders, repetitive strain injuries, musculoskeletal disorders and occupational overuse syndrome. If workers are aware of work tasks and equipment that do not include ergonomic principles in their design, workers ma y be able to report or complain if exposed to undue physical stress, strain, and overexertion which may include vibration, awkward postures, forceful exertions, repetitive motion, and heavy lifting. Ergonomics awareness will help in recognizing MH risk factors in the workplace and it is an essential first step in correcting hazards and improving worker protection. In a study which was conducted in Malaysia by Shameem et al. (2001), industrial workers in Malaysia are were less educated and are ignorant of environmental and working standards, therefore they were not able to complain about work conditions. Bohr (2000) further reported that participants who received MH training reported less stress and pain/discomfort than did those who had not received training.

2.9 Knowledge gap

Previous researches on MH have greatly contributed to the pool of knowledge available in relation to MH. However most of these studies have been carried out in the United States and the Europe identifying MH hazards, risk factors, the burden of musculoskeletal disorders and how ergonomic principles can be applied to attain better results. In Africa most researches were conducted in Kenya in the medical field. This researcher therefore noticed a gap in the information and knowledge available on MH in Zimbabwe specifically the manufacturing industry with the various workshops within the country. Different industries and workplaces present different hazards therefore different prescriptions should be given accordingly but first there is need to know what is happening on the ground so that recommendations can be drawn from that. Henceforth, this study aims to bridge the knowledge gap between other developed countries and the Zimbabwean manufacturing industry.

2.10 Chapter Summary

This chapter highlights researches which were carried out by other researchers in relation to MH that were offered guidelines to the researcher.

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1. Introduction

This chapter outlines the research methodology that has been used by the researcher in coming up with this research project which is assessing the ergonomic hazards at NRZ mechanical workshop. According to Rajasekars et al (2013), a research methodology is a logical way of solving a problem while essentially outlining the procedures by which researchers go about their work of describing, explaining and predicting phenomena gaining knowledge. It aims to give the work plan of research encompassing the research design adopted, type of research, research approaches and philosophy. This chapter also justifies the research tools used, data collection, and analysis and presentation techniques in addressing all the objectives of the study.

3.2 Research Design

A research design describe the format and theoretical structure employed by the researcher in carrying out a certain study (Walker et al., 2014; Mutambara et al., 2010). Kothari (2004) defines a research design as the conceptual structure within which research is conducted which constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. Langen (2009) also supported the view that a research design is a blueprint for conducting a study with maximum control over factors that may interfere with the validity of the findings. The researcher adopted a case study research design in order to obtain an in depth understanding of what is going on, how it is going on and why it is like that in the area of study. A case study is an in-depth study of a particular research problem and is usually used to narrow down a broad field of research into one easily researchable topic (Durepos and Wiebe, 2010). The case study design also allow the researcher to use multiple methodologies in a single research (Yin, 2009).Therefore the researcher used the qualitative and quantitative methodologies in data collection and analysis.

The qualitative research methodology is a logical independent approach used to describe life practices in their natural setting. Therefore the researcher made use of open-ended questionnaires, field observations and interviews in collecting data relating to the level of awareness of worker on manual handling hazards. However on the other hand, quantitative methodology aims at creating statistically important conclusions and it was used in identifying the manual handling hazard at the workplace.

3.3 Target Population

Target population is the entire group of individuals or objects that have similar characteristics from which a researcher is interested in drawing certain conclusions (De Vaus, 2001; Castillo, 2009). Target population is very crucial in researches as it helps in the determination of sample sizes and techniques to be used. The Mechanical workshop constitutes of 19 workshops but however the researcher only a few workshops taking into consideration the nature of job which expose workers to manual handling hazard and the selected workshops have also recorded quite a number of injuries which are related to issues to do with manual handling. Table 3.1 indicate the workshops selected by the researcher as well as the number of workers in each workshop.

Table 3.1: Workshops at the NRZ

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The researcher targeted workers from the workshops shown in Table 3.1 since they are the one who perform all the activities which involve manual handling. The safety and health department was also part of the target population since it is the one responsible employees on safe operating procedures. The researcher also targeted the local clinic since all injuries are attended by the personnel from the clinic.

[...]

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Details

Title
An Assessment of Manual Handling Hazards at a Mechanical Workshop. A Case Study of National Railways of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo
Course
Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental Management
Author
Year
2019
Pages
56
Catalog Number
V511330
ISBN (eBook)
9783346086419
ISBN (Book)
9783346086426
Language
English
Tags
assessment, zimbabwe, railways, national, study, case, workshop, mechanical, hazards, handling, manual, bulawayo
Quote paper
Charles Mutshakambi (Author), 2019, An Assessment of Manual Handling Hazards at a Mechanical Workshop. A Case Study of National Railways of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/511330

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