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|Title: ||A Time series analysis of physical ability among Eskom distribution's powerline electricians|
|Authors: ||Ngqangweni, Bongiwe|
|Advisors: ||Malangu, N.|
|Keywords: ||Physical fitness|
|Issue Date: ||2010|
|Publisher: ||University of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus)|
|Abstract: ||Physical Ability Analysis (PAA) is a physical work capacity indicator for the health and
wellbeing of the organisational workforce. Employees doing powerline work and similarly
physically demanding positions are assessed using a battery of tests called the physical ability
analysis (PAA), inclusive of a cardiovascular test component, a strength component for upper
body and lower body, the endurance component, and a record of health problems. The results are
classified into five categories that are indicative of their physical work ability. It is therefore
crucial that a high level of physical capacity is maintained to ensure a sustainable workforce.
Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the physical ability and common health
problems among powerline electricians in Eskom Distribution over time, and determine the
extent to which variations, if any exist, could be explained by the socio-demographic
characteristics, health problems or lifestyle habits.
Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of Eskom Distribution’s powerline electricians was done
using occupational medical records found in the institutional database for the period of 2003,
2005 and 2008.
Results: A total of 50 records meeting the selection criteria were analyzed. At the time of the
study, the power line electricians were old as 94% of them were over 50 years old, overweight
(46%), and suffering from chronic conditions such as hypertension (22%), diabetes (8%). In
addition, 19% suffered from back injuries, 2% from knee injuries, while 32% smoked cigarettes.
Given their health profile, they became sicker for longer periods as reflected by the increasing
number of sick leave days (95% of the cases that took leave had hypertension). The physical
ability levels improved from baseline (46%) to 62% in 2008. A shift of PAA2 participants in the
47 – 51year age group was the reason for the increase and the youngest group of electricians
remained in PAA category 1 throughout the study period. Muscle function was a strong predictor
for meeting the required physical ability level, most measurements that were significantly
associated with physical ability score, leg strength, noted as the strongest predictor among them
(OR 123.00; p = 0.00, 95% CI, 9.22-1573.00), followed by abdominal endurance (OR 43.49; p =
0.01, 95% CI, 2.49-786.13) and grip strength of the right hands, with similar odds to the
abdominal strength (OR 41.00; p = 0.00, 95% CI, 3.65-461.04) with back strength at (OR 28.50;
p = 0.01, 95% CI, 2.37-342.61).
Conclusion: With regard to physical ability, the study concludes that age is a strong predictor for
physical ability as the youngest group ( 49years old) of electricians remained in PAA1
throughout the study period, and were approximately four times likely to meet the required
physical ability standard than their older counterparts and that regular physical assessment and
rehabilitation have been effective in maintaining the physical ability of electricians.|
|Description: ||Thesis (MPH)--University of Limpopo, 2010.|
|Appears in Collections:||Theses and Dissertations (Public Health)|
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