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Evaluation of a community-based effort to reduce blueberry harvesting injury.

Authors
May-J; Hawkes-L; Jones-A; Burdick-P; Ginley-B; Santiago-B; Rowland-M
Source
Am J Ind Med 2008 Apr; 51(4):307-315
NIOSHTIC No.
20034058
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Harvesting of blueberries is associated with musculoskeletal injury. This study assessed the effects of several alternative designs of the harvesting rake. METHODS: A community-based work team selected rake design for intervention and pilot tested potential design modifications to the blueberry harvesting rake. An "extended" handle design was selected for comparison with the traditional short-handle rake. Tested rakes were of two widths (70 and 80 tines) and four handle lengths (short handle; extended: 10, 14, or 16 in.). Workers rated each of five configurations after 4 hr of use. Evaluators tracked qualitative and quantitative indicators of the community-based approach throughout. RESULTS: Data from 29 subjects were analyzed using two-factor analysis of variance. There was increased productivity (P = 0.041); greater acceptability (P < 0.0001); less force (P < 0.001); and less pain (P < 0.0001) with the extended handle designs. The 80 tine width was favored over the 70. Process evaluation identified problems that generally could be addressed. Outcome evaluation indicated successful achievement of all stated goals. CONCLUSIONS: The "extended" handle rake may prove effective in reducing musculoskeletal injury associated with blueberry harvesting. A community-based approach to migrant farmworker injuries can be effective, particularly if employers participate.
Keywords
Agriculture; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Risk-analysis; Farmers; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Statistical-analysis; Statistical-quality-control; Qualitative-analysis; Quantitative-analysis; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Work-practices
Contact
Lynae Hawkes, The Northeast Center for Agricultural Health, Bassett Healthcare, Atwell Rd., Cooperstown, NY 13326
CODEN
AJIMD8
Publication Date
20080401
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
lhawkes@nycamh.com
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2008
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R25-OH-008144
Issue of Publication
4
ISSN
0271-3586
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
State
NY
Performing Organization
Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital - New York
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