The Journal of Science of Labour
Online ISSN : 2187-2570
Print ISSN : 0022-443X
Field Reports
Fatigue of Workers in a Machinery Manufacturer in China
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2011 Volume 87 Issue 1 Pages 12-19


Since China is a major manufacturing country, it is important to ensure its workers’ safety and health. In order to evaluate the industrial fatigue and health conditions of the workers, a study was carried out in a machinery manufacturer in Wuxi, China. Questionnaires were distributed to 100 workers and 95 replies were collected. The participants covered four different types of jobs. The content of the questionnaires included daily life and working hours, level of cumulative fatigue, Subjective Feelings of Fatigue Symptoms, Local Physical Fatigue Symptoms and so on.
The results showed that the level of cumulative fatigue among the subjects was so high. The Subjective Feelings of Fatigue Symptoms scores increased with time, especially in dulness and blurness. The results of the Local Physical Fatigue Symptoms showed that although the tired parts varied by job types and changed over time, the “upper limbs” and “lower limbs” were the most frequently mentioned parts among all the workers. The results about working hours showed that eighty percent of the subjects had to work overtime because of the heavy workload or unexpected events. Thirty-five percent of the workers responded that the duration of overtime work was over 40 hours per month with more than half of them working on weekends or holidays. Sixty-six percent of the surveyed workers reported poor rest quality during lunch breaks due to short duration and lack of resting facilities. Answers collected from the questionnaire also showed that seventy-five percent of the subjects suffered from diseases last year, such as cold, strains, lumbago, digestive illness and so on.
The results of the current study showed that long working hours, lack of rest and insufficient breaks worsened the industrial fatigue of workers ; often leading to illness. In order to secure the health of workers, it is necessary for the manufacturer to shorten working hours and improve the working environment and ergonomic conditions.

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© 2011 The Institute for Science of Labour
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