NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Ergonomics of back pain in farmers. Descriptive reference manual. A clinicians guide for the prevention and treatment of back problems and injury associated with Midwest dairy farming.

NIOSH 2003 Sep; :1-28
Ergonomics is the study of work, specifically the interaction of the worker to the work site. Ergonomic task analysis helps determine whether task demands match human capability. On a daily basis, farm workers are exposed to tasks that require 1) strength 2) reaching, bending, or stooping 3) awkward positions 4) repetition 5) frequency and 6) exposure to work environment stress such as temperature extremes, high noise, poor lighting and vibration. Progress in reducing farm work-related back pain will depend on efforts in four areas: accurately identifying the bio-mechanical hazard; developing effective health promotion and hazard-control interventions; facilitating change in clinician and farm workers' practices with respect to levels of work performance; and developing mechanisms for the transfer of injury prevention technologies to both clinicians and farmers. This manual is designed to facilitate change in the clinician and farm workers' practices with respect to levels of back-to-work performance. The manual and "quick reference" sheet lists tasks associated with small-to-medium size Midwest dairy operations. The tasks are described in detail to provide the "non-farmer" with enough information to help in determining back-to-work recommendations. The funding for this project and manual. is provided through a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) included in the Center for Agricultural Research, Education, and Disease and Injury Prevention: A NIOSH Cooperative Agreement Program. This project is titled Ergonomics of Back Pain in Farmers. The project objectives include: 1. Making ergonomic assessments of the agricultural work environment. 2. Developing clinical guidelines (based on assessments) that will be useful in return to work recommendations for farm workers with acute or chronic low back pain. 3. Developing educational reference materials for clinicians who encounter agricultural workers.
Ergonomics; Cumulative-trauma; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Back-injuries; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-processes; Farmers; Animal-husbandry; Animal-husbandry-workers; Manual-lifting; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders
Marshfield Medical Research & Education Foundation, 1000 North Oad Avenue, Marshfield, WI 54449
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Cooperative Agreement Report
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Marshfield Medical Research & Education Foundation, Marshfield, Wisconsin
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division