Healthy Workplace Healthy Workers: Balance for Productivity Enhancement – A Case Study of Garment Manufacturing Units in North India

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Kamaljit Singh Rana, Dr. Jagjit Singh Randhawa, Dr. Parveen Kalra

Abstract

The textile and garment industry in India contributes 14% to industrial production, 5% to GDP and 11% to the country’s export earnings. It provides employment for over 45 million people at various skill levels. The garment manufacturing industry of North India has established itself as a majorapparel sourcing destination for the global markets.


The hypothetical projection is that work conditions are usually unsafe and unhealthy.The workstations in the well established industries tend to be poorly designed with uncomfortable work tables and chairs,lack of ventilation, inappropriate lighting, and excessive noise. This kind of a poor working environment impacts adversely on the performance of the workers over long durations. Consequently it reduces the productivity of themanufacturing units.


Focus


The focus of this paper is to conduct an environmental audit in several sections of the garment industry to ascertain how favourable is the working environment of the workers. Environmental parameters like noise level, illumination and temperaturewere calibrated on instruments like sound level meter, luxmeter and hand held thermometer. The readings were subsequently compared against OSHA(Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards.


Method


The review of literature and interactions with the industry experts was the method of enquiry adopted to collect data on the work environment in a majority of the garment manufacturing industries.


Findings


The research findings showed that the workstations were consistently having congestedwork areas, poor illumination, high temperatures and inadequate ventilation.


Scope


The scope of this study is to suggest appropriate intervention strategies to improve health, safety and comfort levels of the workers in the garment manufacturing units in various parts of North India in general and Punjab in Particular.

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