A Small Step towards Dignity of Labour:

<image no longer exists>

Raghunath Lohar, an aeronautical student was walking past a construction site when he saw woman carrying bricks on her head lose her balance. A heavy brick fell on her foot and broke her toes. He felt bad for the woman but more than that this incident raised several questions in his mind. What for is he an engineer if he cannot devise an implement that could help lessen the burden of these people. He started thinking of ways on how this could be done. Then he saw an advertisement from the National Innovation Council which called for proposals on models that could reduce the drudgery of the workers. This gave him an incentive to start working on what he had been thinking ever since he saw the woman labourer break her toes. Finally he was able to design a vessel desk. Bricks and other material could be put in this vessel and the light desk to carry it was so designed that it distributed the burden on the two shoulders instead of the whole weight falling on the head. Also there was no question of losing the balance with this implement. He sent the design to National Innovation Council. His model was selected for the award which carried a cash prize of 50,000 rupees. The vessel desk can be used by both men and women. Raghunath has also designed different kinds of attachments to go with the model for use separately by farmers or other workers to reduce their drudgery. Also the model suits the Indian conditions. Raghunath says that it cost him between 700 to 800 rupees to make this model. He feels that the model can be improved upon and produced on a large scale for use by construction workers.

We often see women young and old carrying loads of bricks and other construction material on their heads or men carrying huge sacks of food grains and other stuff or these people breaking stones at construction sites in severe weather conditions risking all kinds of injuries. Also we see men with bare bodies getting into manholes to clean sewers without any safe guards or proper implements. While science and technology in our country has advanced by leaps and bounds very little thought has gone into manufacturing simple and low cost implements that could reduce the risks of injury, pain and physical burden and drudgery of the working class.

These questions had bothered him says Sam Pitroda, the Chairman of the National Innovation Council. Mr. Pitroda says that attention has for too long been focused on the problems of the rich and there was a need for Indian model of inclusive innovation that focused on the poor and the common man. -

************************************************** *****************************

Source: FB

From India, Madras
Industrial Relations
Safety Consultant
Raghuvaran Chakkaravarthy
Environmental, Health And Safety
Health And Safety
+2 Others

Use factoHR and automate your HR processes

Mobile-first hire to retire HR and Payroll software that automates all HR operations and works as a catalysts for your organisational growth.


Dear Mr. AVS
This innovative ideas are really looking nice and it can be used at various places. But in construction sites it cannot work well. Because it can be used in smooth roads/floors. But in Construction area you cannot find the good flat road/surface for using these type of devices.
What will be the weight of the device. Is it having the capacity for bearing the weight of the load. As per law, the female worker can carry 30 kg and male worker can carry 55 kg load. If we use these devices then the weight of the device will also to be added. Hence I feel it will not work in construction industry. But it is highly useful or shops, Departmental Stores & Factories.
Shall we request the moderators to change the forum from General discussion to Safety.
Thanks for sharing and keep on sharing Mr. AVS

From India, Kumbakonam
raghuvaran chakkaravarthy

Dear AVS,

Thanks for sharing such a information with us . Just I go through the narrative its interesting and very proud of Mr.Raghunath and his creative mind. In picture 3 & 4 already in use on overseas they are using the same type of equipments in office’s to move small stuffs the new thing is picture # 1,2,5 & 6 it won’t give a positive result in construction and Industry’s already Mr.Bhaskar clearly stated on this previous reply.

One more thing the weight of the equipment if it’s easy to carry the equipment (light weight)means it shouldn’t work in construction and industry to move heavy stuff’s in my point of view may it leads some ergonomic issue so. I’m not a ergonomic specialist can’t prove though!!! (Just I wrote a letter to M/S Swathi (Ergonomics specialist) regarding this thread hope she will respond soon).

However it was selected by National innovation council while I searching on web not getting any data’s like ‘’what type of procedures they are consider on ergonomics side while they selecting the new equipment?? ‘’

Dear Bhaskar,

Thanks for your message otherwise we will miss this thread.

Keep on touch. . .

From United States, Fpo

Dear AVS

Thanks a lot for this thread... It's really bring up a new thought in mind...

Salute the engineering mind who thought of coming up with such a solution for the betterment of those shop floor workers...

Dear Bhasker

Thanks to lead towards this thread... I think we may even make light weight this kind of carrying case... From the picture itself it is very clear that, its of wooden... So may be light weight... However I think this kind thing is not readily available in market as on today.. So we can come to a conclusion on the practical aspect of the same once used only.. So I appeal all the friends from Construction and Manufacturing industry to give the pictures to a goof carpenter/fabricator and make such a carrying case... If anyone made one and use please defiantly give this forum a feedback on the advantages and dis-advantages... I will forward this to my earlier company for their perusal.. If getting any feedback, surely will update...

Dear Raghu

Good that you contacted the Ergonomist for her views...Lets wait...

From India

Dear Mr. AVS
Thanks for sharing a valuable information. Very good innovative idea.
Dear Raghu...at first let the ideas come out. Once it is delivered then update on the product and implementation is easier.
Dear Mr. Bhaskar...Thanks for your message.

From India, Bangalore

Dear Dipil
The material cannot be wood or cane. It must be of steel so that it will not break. In wood or cane it can bend but in steel it will not bend (if properly designed). The shoulder cushion pad is mainly required to carry the steel device and if the same is in wood then the shoulder cushion is not required (it is only my opinion - I do not know about the actual requirement).

From India, Kumbakonam
Bay Ergonomics

Hello Mr. Raghuraman,

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

My feedback based on the pictures and experience is as follows:

Firstly, any product design fit for a given issue is best evaluated and validated in the field from the end user and then enhanced to meet the design goal.

To provide an objective feedback, actual testing of the final design is recommended.

Comments on Picture 6: Carrying vessel over head on the vessel desk


1. Avoids strain on head and neck when carrying the load

2. Provides boundary and larger surface area for the vessel to stay stable

3. Vessel desk has straps around the waist.


1. Vessel desk stability depends upon the operator holding it with the hands. Heavy load in the vessel, weak and inadequate grip strength may compromise the stability of the desk and decrease safety of the user and maybe prone to accidents.

2. Low back, shoulders, wrist and hands are exposed to continuous static loading and compressive forces, risk factors known for MSDs.

3. Shoulder support and padding -depending upon anthropometrics of the user; example narrow or broad or wide shoulders – shoulder support may not sit just right creating unstable and uncomfortable conditions (one size does not fit all).

Comments on Picture 2: Carrying sack or object set on low back with the vessel desk


1. May be helpful to carry sack (as seen in the picture) or bags that are lightweight – similar to backpack.


2. Excessive loading of the low back can occur due to the weight of the object – consider heavy backpack scenario.

3. Do not see any straps to secure object to the vessel.

Comments on Picture 4: Pushing the vessel desk with bricks loaded


1. Most safe means of transportation amongst all the 3 pictures provided – similar to a hand truck.


2. Wood construction with small wheels may not sustain the weights, transport on dirt roads, and uneven paths.

3. Height of the handles to push seems to be too low, causing taller individuals to bend over when pushing.

Few Questions to understand and enhance the designs:

1. What was the typical average weight anticipated to be carried in these vessels for both overhead and back applications?

2. Are the vessels in different sizes? Is that considered in this design?

3. How is the load secured on the vessel – if it not in the shape and size shown in the picture?

4. Prototype seems to be made of wood. What is the final product material?


As a practicing ergonomist, I recommend the following to enhance the design:

1. Provide adequate stability to the vessel desk and support for the weight to be distributed across wider shoulder area; examples add wider support, cross shoulder straps on both sides.

2. Provide gripping surfaces with T bar at the end of the shoulder bar extension to make it easy to grip and reduce gripping forces

3. Set administrative limits on how much max weight can be carried at a time on the vessel desk (this should be based upon the load tolerance capacity of the joints and tissues at stake)

4. The equipment design goal should be to eliminate the risk and not transfer the risk whenever possible

5. Use of hand truck, cart or similar transport means should be used whenever possible than carrying

6. In long term - Eliminate the need to carry weight over head and shoulders. This needs to be an industry wide initiative starting with increasing ergonomic and safety awareness at all levels in construction, manufacturing industry. Can we think of a trolley or push pull cart that will hold not only one but more than one vessel, so that we can optimize the carrying frequency as well? If they need to get it up on to stairs or at heights – can we design portable pulley system to lift the vessels up? Robust wheels will meet the various construction environments needs as well. The physiologic energy expenditure risk will also be addressed as these tasks can be demanding on the metabolic processes of the operator.

I hope this helps understand the design. If you need further consultancy, I am happy to provide it.

From United States, Palo Alto

Dear Swati
It is great to see your observation and apt reply on the pros and cons of the material shifting devices. If the same is further developed with steel square tubular pipe with height adjustment and as advised by you for binding the material with the device then it will be useful. In construction site it cannot be used because there will not be any smooth surface in the work area.
Thanks for your reply and we expect you to take active part in this forum.
Wish you all the best

From India, Kumbakonam
raghuvaran chakkaravarthy

Dear Swathi Ma'am,
I need to say Thank you during your busy schedule you consider my request and given a great write up on this thread.
Again thank you very much Ma'am great explanation as a ergonomics specialist.
Keep on touch whenever you get time.

From United States, Fpo
Bay Ergonomics

Thank you Raghu.
In regards to comments from S. Bhaskar re use of this device in construction industry - this particular model may not work. But with modifications it can certainly work - for example use of appropriate wheels, additional stability for the product to be moved, and selecting material for building the cart/ trolley that can sustain outdoor conditions and weights etc.

From United States, Palo Alto

If you are knowledgeable about any fact, resource or experience related to this topic - please add your views.

About Us Advertise Contact Us Testimonials
Privacy Policy Disclaimer Terms Of Service

All rights reserved @ 2022 CiteHR®

All Material Copyright And Trademarks Posted Held By Respective Owners.
Panel Selection For Threads Are Automated - Members Notified Via CiteMailer Server