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Title Ergonomic Evaluation of Brush Cutters for Women Operators
Author Name Bini Sam
Abstract

At present there are different models of brush cutters available in the market. The safety and efficiency aspects of brush cutters are not being studied for women operators and needs to be evaluated. Therefore, a study was undertaken to ergonomically evaluate the commercially available two stroke and four stroke SI engine operated models of brush cutters with different cutting mechanism. Five female subjects were selected, those having anthropometric dimensions conforming to statistical requirements based on the anthropometric survey. The physiological parameters of operators were recorded during the experiments. There was significant difference in heart rate and energy expenditure rate in the operation of different models of brush cutters. Heart rate and energy expenditure were lowest for four stroke SI engine operated model brush cutter. A significant increase in heart rate was noticed while operating different cutter heads in the order of nylon wire, two blade cutter head and three blade cutter head for both models. The heart rate was maximum with a value of 165 beats min-1 while operating two stroke model with three blade cutter attachment. The overall discomfort rating varied from 5.8 to 8.5 on 0 - 10 discomfort scale and was in the range of “Moderate discomfort “to “ Uncomfortable “. The body part discomfort score value was maximum in the operation of two stroke model with three blade attachment, where as it was minimum in the operation of four stroke model with nylon wire. The operation of four stroke and two stroke models with nylon wire were safer for women operators. The operation of two stroke model brush cutter was difficult as compared to four stroke model.

Keyword Brush cutters , Discomfort , Energy expenditure , Heart rate , Women ,
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