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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  018069,  2001 ASAE Annual Meeting. (doi: 10.13031/2013.5554) @2001
Authors:   V. M. Salokhe, J. Wanitchang
Keywords:   Ergonomics, rice mill, occupational health, working environment, Thailand

WThis study was conducted with two main objectives: first, to assess the working environment in rice mills in terms ergonomic parameters such as the indoor climate, the sound level of rice milling machines and the total dust generated. Second, to evaluate the effect of such working environment on operators health. For this study, ten rice mills in Chachaoengsao province, Thailand, were selected. Four of these mills produce parboiled rice for export; the other six produce white rice both for the domestic market and for export. The study revealed that the temperature inside rice mills was 1 to 2 o C higher than outside, that such temperature did not exceed the standard value, and that air ventilation was adequate. The relative humidity was in the range of 40-70%. Most of the rice milling machines created noise above 90 dB(A). In their work, machine operators were directly exposed to noise-induced hearing loss. At the paddy cleaner in three of the rice mills, the concentration of dust exceeded the standard value of 15 mg/m 3 . The study revealed that only 2.2% of the operators suffered adverse health effects as a result of the working environment. Similarly, hearing problems were experienced by 7.5% of operators.

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