Design, implementation and evaluation of a participatory ergonomics program among home-based Mapuche weavers

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Gracia, Gabriela
Guzman, Alison
Forst, Linda
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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND ERGONOMICS,Vol.,,2022
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Abstract
The Mapuche comprise 80% of the indigenous population of Chile. The Araucania has the highest concentration of Mapuche peoples and is also the poorest region of the country. The region's proximity to a large tourist sector provides opportunities for weavers to work from home and sell their products as a primary or secondary income source. The adverse health effects related to craft production and home-based work are significant and not well described in the literature. Participatory ergonomics (PE), an approach that emphasizes the input and participation of individuals directly impacted by the work being studied, is a strong fit for this population. This article describes a PE project among 33 Mapuche weavers that characterizes the hazards, risks and perceived adverse health effects associated with home-based weaving and the identification, implementation and evaluation of three ergonomic interventions. This project can inform the development of sustainable ergonomics health programs for home-based artisans.
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