OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE DETERMINATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF MPS-PRODUCTION QUALITY IN THE GARMENT INDUSTRY
Published: 20 Dec 2016
Abstract: The development of garment industry has been inconsistent in the last few years in Estonia. Small companies are fighting for survival in the market, trying to offer outsource work possibilities to EU companies. The garment industry has preferably invested in the equipment rather than the companies’ premises. The modern industrial building design has been mainly used by wood and metal industries. Occupational exposure assessments and measurements in various industrial companies revealed that there are problems with different forms of work and workplace locations in the industry. For example, in the new wood production building, in which the assembly of details, painting and packing are situated in the same large workroom, all the workers are suffering from the exposure to chemicals and dust. These hazards, originated from the production, are spread over the whole large workroom. Microclimate factors such as temperature, relative humidity and air velocity are also much less controlled than in separate workspaces. The indoor air quality in manufacturing companies might be an important disturbing factor that influences people’s health and well-being. This paper has studied the chemical (like dust) and physical hazards (like noise and lighting) in a medium-sized garment industry building, where small groups of employees (7 to 12 sewing machine operators) are located in the work areas separated by walls. This kind of group work in the garment industry is named Modular Production System (MPS). Sewing machine operators are working as a team fully responsible for the production, quality and well-being at their workplace. Thermal comfort, prevention of static postures, and pauses during working hours have to be followed by the whole team.
Keywords: garment industry, well-being at work, microclimate, lighting, noise, dust
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