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Title: Grading of Workload in Agricultural Activities


Grading of Workload in Agricultural Activities
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Grading of workload during Agricultural activities in paddy cultivation system has been chalked out on the basis of the physiological parameters of male and female workers in Odisha in the age group of 18-45 years. For this purpose ergonomical parameters like working heart rate (WHR), oxygen consumption rate (OCR), energy expenditure rate (EER), relative cost of workload (RCWL) (% of VO2 max) of both male and female agricultural workers performing forty (40) different operation in paddy cultivation system were measured. Six male and six female workers were selected for this study and their physiological parameters were recorded. VO2, max varied in the range of 1.82 to 2.12 l min-1 for male and 1.56 to 1.81 l min-1 for female workers. The highest cardiac cost in term of working heart rate was observed to be maximum in case of grain threshing by beating of paddy bundler on stone/wooden surface followed by (142.3 beats min-1) operating with pre-germinated paddy seeder (138.2 beats min-1). For the case of female worker the highest cardiac cost was recorded highest in bund thinning with spade (138.4 beats min-1) followed by operating with 6 row pre germinated paddy seeder (136.3 beats min-1) and lowest in case of winnowing with power winnower (98.2 beats min-1). The oxygen consumption rate and energy expenditure rate followed the same trend. The severity or grading of workload was generally based on the physiological parameters like heart rate, oxygen consumption rate and relative cost of workload. Many researchers have categorized this severity of workload rate broadly into six types like very light, light, moderate heavy, heavy, very heavy and extremely heavy. But during the participatory discussion with these agricultural workers it was noticed that the workers generally categories it into three major types of severity i.e light, medium and heavy type of agriculture operation. Keeping the WHR, OCR and RCWL (% of VO2 max) into consideration the agricultural activities can be categorized for the agricultural operation can be named as “light” type of operation when the working heart rate, oxygen consumption rate and relative cost of work load are below 100 beats min-1, 0.6 lmin-1, and 35% where as for “medium” type of operation the WHR, OCR and RCWL (% of VO2 max) may in the range of 100-125 beats min-1, 0.6 – 1.01 lmin-1 and 35-50% . For “heavy” type of operation the WHR may be considered (> 125 beats min-1), oxygen consumption rate (> 1.01 lmin-1) and relative cost of work load (> 50%). Keeping all these three severity/grading of work load into consideration laddering, paddy broadcasting, power transplanting, birds scaring, spraying with hand compressor spraying are categorized as light type of operation. Whereas bund thinning, manual transplanting, weeding, high treadle pump, harvesting with sickle, reaper, grain threshing can be graded as medium type of operation. Ploughing with Mould Board Plough, Bullock puddling, using four row paddy transplanter and 6 / 8 row paddy seeder, water lifting with local Tenda, transporting unthreshed paddy on head and yoke etc. may be categories as heavy type of operation. Keywords: Grading, Work load, Paddy cultivation, Working Heart Rate, Oxygen consumption Rate.