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Health problems caused by modern agricultural machines: chronic fatigue of farmers and lack of aptitude for machines.

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Proceedings of the VII International Congress of Rural Medicine, September 17-21, Salt Lake City, Utah. International Association of Agricultural Medicine, 1978 Sep; :191-193
The roles of fatigue and poor mechanical aptitude in farm machinery accidents in Japan were discussed. The problem of accidents involving agricultural machinery was considered. Farm machinery took the place of livestock for providing power in Japanese agriculture around 30 years ago. The number of accidents involving agricultural machinery has paralleled the increasing mechanization on Japanese farms ever since. Although the lack of safety laws concerning agricultural equipment is a contributing factor, lack of training and chronic fatigue are considered to be the major reasons for such accidents. A total of 445 deaths and 44,000 serious injuries were associated with agricultural machinery in Japan in 1977. The death rate from tractor accidents in Hokkaido, the most mechanized district in Japan, is much higher than the rate from traffic accidents. A study to investigate the fatigue and mechanical aptitude in farmers in Hokkaido was described. Fatigue of 35 farmers, 20 females, during the farming season was measured using a Brain Excite Meter. Mechanical aptitude of 77 farmers, 41 females, was evaluated utilizing the Cybernetical Controllability Number scale. The subjects exhibited a moderate degree of fatigue. Approximately 63.9 percent of the males and 53.5 percent of the females showed a deficit in action or judgement ability when operating machinery. The author concludes that corrective measures must be taken to counter the effects of fatigue and poor aptitude for machinery in Japanese farmers. To counter the effects of fatigue, improved nutrition, adequate sleep, and a redistribution of working and recess time are recommended. Mechanical aptitude can be improved by better training methods.
NIOSH-Grant; Grants-other; Physiological-fatigue; Mental-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-machinery; Accident-statistics; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-health; Accident-prevention
Prev Med & Environmental Hlth University of Iowa Inst/agric Med & Environ Hlth Iowa Oakdale, Iowa 52319
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Priority Area
Other Occupational Concerns; Grants-other
Source Name
Proceedings of the VII International Congress of Rural Medicine, September 17-21, Salt Lake City, Utah
Performing Organization
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division