A Comprehensive Review of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Mining Sector and Scope for Ergonomics Design Interventions

Sen, Abhijit; Sanjog, Jayakumar; Karmakar, Sougata ✉

English Survey paper (Journal Article) Scientific
    Occupational Applications: Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) are prevalent in many industries worldwide, including the large and labor-intensive mining sector. A systematic review was carried out to understand problems in the mining sector issues from three broad perspectives: 1) the prevalence of WMSDs among miners; 2) the association of occupational, psychosocial, environmental, and other risk factors with WMSDs causation; and 3) ergonomics interventions already proposed or implemented, and scope for design interventions. Our review revealed that automation, job aids, and displays are methods suitable for ergonomic design interventions. Ergonomic intervention strategies at various hierarchical levels, and the successive way forward as proposed in our review, could act as a catalyst in formulating problem-specific solution strategies by the participation of diverse stakeholders to implement a more human-centric workplace. Background: Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) are prevalent in the mining sector. While there are numerous factors responsible for the occurrence of WMSDs in this labor-intensive sector, research pertaining to ergonomic design interventions that address various causative factors has not been thoroughly addressed. Purpose: We aimed to present an overview of WMSDs in the mining sector, along with plausible intervention strategies in diverse task contexts as suggested by earlier researchers. We also sought to identify the prominent research gaps and propose a way forward to formulate context-specific solutions by involving all stakeholders. Methods: Relevant research publications were identified from electronic databases (Google Scholar and ScienceDirect) using appropriate search terms applicable to the mining sector and WMSDs. The literature search was restricted to journal papers, conference proceedings, books, reports, and relevant websites in the English language published between 1990 and 2020. Results: Information extracted from the literature review was categorized under three broad topics: 1) the prevalence of WMSDs among miners; 2) associations of psychosocial, occupational, environmental, and other risk factors with WMSDs; and 3) ergonomics interventions in the mining sector. Following the systematic literature review, we outline ergonomics intervention strategies at various levels and provide future research directions to assist all stakeholders in implementing appropriate and context-specific ergonomics design interventions to provide a more human-centric workplace. Conclusions: Based on our findings, it is evident that there is an urgent need for formulating and applying job-related ergonomics design intervention plans for occupational safety and well-being of miners in the mining sector.
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    2023-03-30 04:38