Evaluation of Musculoskeletal Disorders Prevalence during Oil Palm Fresh Fruit Bunches Harvesting Using RULA


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Prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) in the agricultural industry is a very serious problem but it is not well investigated and understood. In this paper, the authors have made an attempt to evaluate the prevalence of WMSD in oil palm industry during harvesting fresh fruit bunches (FFB). Data collection was conducted by conducting face-to-face structured interviews with FFB harvesters. In addition, video recording on seven FFB harvesters were conducted while they are performing the harvesting work. Demographic data shows that the mean age of FFB harvester was 41.3 years and 71.4% of them are smokers. Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) method was used to evaluate the prevalence of WMSD by observing the working postures of the FFB harvesters. RULA analysis of the observed results showed that 83% of the FFB harvesters have scored 7 during harvesting work, which means postural changes must be carried out immediately. Meanwhile, 17% FFB harvesters have scored 5, which means postural change must be carried out soon. Repetitive work is also a main factor that contributes to high prevalence of WMSD among FFB harvesters while they are pulling and pushing the FFB.



Edited by:

Rosnah Mohd Yusuff, Siti Anom Ahmad, Dian Darina Indah Daruis, Baba Md Deros and Siti Zawiah Md Dawal




M. M. Mokhtar et al., "Evaluation of Musculoskeletal Disorders Prevalence during Oil Palm Fresh Fruit Bunches Harvesting Using RULA", Advanced Engineering Forum, Vol. 10, pp. 110-115, 2013

Online since:

December 2013


* - Corresponding Author

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