Women constitute a major task force in agricultural operations in India. Therefore, it becomes necessary to study the ergonomics of women operators involved in weeding, harvesting, threshing, winnowing and to suggest modifications for further reduction of human drudgery. Ergonomical parameters like working heart rate (HR), oxygen consumption rate (OCR), energy expenditure rate (EER), body part discomfort score (BPDS) and overall discomfort rate (ODR) were evaluated. Ten subjects from the age group of 25-50 years were selected for the above study.The use of female anthropometric data can help in the proper designing of new equipment and modifying the existing machine. Nineteen body dimensions including weight of the subject useful in agricultural equipment design were identified and measured from 10 female agricultural workers of the region. Mean, standard deviation, standard error, 5th and 95th percentile, range was estimated for each body dimension. These body dimensions were correlated with stature. Three female subjects were selected from anthropometric consideration to represent 95th, 50th and 5th percentile of the population of the region. These subjects were used in field trials for ergonomical and mechanical evaluation with selected farm implements for weeding, harvesting, threshing and winnowing operations. Physiological cost and body discomfort were evaluated. The mean values of stature, age and weight for female agricultural workers were149 cm, 39.7 year and 44.5 kgrespectively.Linear relationship was found between most of the body measurements and stature for agricultural workers of the region. The mean HR,OCR, EER, ODR and BPDS for female subjects were 102 beats/min, 0.483 l/min, 7.4 kJ/min, 5.81, 65 and 119 beats/min, 0.67 l/min, 10.2 kJ/min, 6.2, 76.2, respectively for morning and afternoon and the mean ΔHR and BP were 17.3 beats/min and114.6/78.3 mm Hg, respectively byAmbika paddy weederwhich was lower than hand weeding method. The speed, theoretical field capacity, effective field capacity, field efficiency and weeding efficiency were 2.3 km/hr, 0.0253 ha/h, 0.01704 ha/h, 67.35 % and 74.28%respectively. The mean HR, OCR, EER, ODR and BPDS for female subjects were 106 beats/min, 0.528 l/min, 8.1 kJ/min, 7.36, 46.5 and 117 beats/min, 0.65 l/min, 9.1 kJ/min, 7.64, 48.5, respectively for morning and afternoon and the mean ΔHR and BP were 10.6 beats/min and123/78 mm Hg, respectively. For all the value of above parameter were lower in serrated sickle operation as compare to traditional sickle operation. Threshing by paddy thresher operation shows that, the value of these parameter were found lower as compared to hand beating operation i.e. the mean HR,OCR, EER, ODR and BPDS for female subjects were 95.0 beats/min, 0.403 l/min, 6.38 kJ/min, 3.73, 41.7 and 104.6 beats/min, 0.513 l/min, 7.9 kJ/min, 4.43, 42.9 respectively for morning and afternoon and the mean ΔHR and BP were 10.1 beats/min and113.5/7 mm Hgrespectively. Similarly for winnowing operation, improved practice (winnowing by fan), the values of all the 5 parameters were observed lower than the traditional practice of winnowing.
AN ASSESSMENT OF SELECTED FARM OPERATIONS IN RELATION TO DRUDGERY REDUCTION OF FARM WOMEN