Identifying, Categorizing and Setting Variables on Ergonomics Issues in Oil Palm Plantations

  •  Normala S Govindarajo    
  •  Dileep Kumar M    
  •  Subrahmanium Sri Ramulu    


It is an eye opening scenario that Malaysia turned to be one of the major producer and exporter of palm oil. Malaysia has witnessed a dazzling growth of 10.06% of its production recently from 4.05 million hectares in 2005 in an area of 54,000 hectares. Further, the production has enlarged from 94,000 tons in 1960 to 15 million tons in 2005, or by almost 160 times within 45 years-this represents a compound annual growth of 11.93% per year. The oil palm industry is labor intensive, since there is less adoption of mechanization in the field operations. Production of agriculture is usually associated with high incidence of ergonomic injuries, mainly during rigorous manual labor and throughout harvesting. Although scientific explanations are available, very less research was conducted to identify and fix variables that are closely related to ergonomics issues of workers in oil palm plantations related to workers absconding and disengagement from work. Field visits were conducted in the present study, to get an insight into the causal factors of ergonomics in relation to workers intention to abscond and disengagement in oil palm plantations was further congregated into. Thus an exploratory study was conducted in the oil palm plantations following qualitative research methods like direct interviews, focus group discussions and Delphi technique arrive at factors and categories related to the ergonomic issues of workers in oil palm plantations. The study provides better insight into the ergonomic issues of workers in oil palm plantations in the Sabah region of Malaysia.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.