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Investigation of select ergonomic interventions for farm youth. Part 1: shovels.
Kotowski-SE; Davis-KG; Waters-TR
J Agromed 2009 Jan; 19(1):33-43
There is some evidence that performing farm chores may place youth at risk of musculoskeletal injuries. However, actual investigations of interventions for farm youth have been sparse. The objective of the current study was to investigate two different types of interventions (addon handles) for shovels, potentially reducing the risk of injury in farm youth. A lumbar motion monitor was used to capture trunk posture and motion while the youth performed a simulated shoveling task - removal of material from an animal stall. Ratings of perceived exertion and comfort of use were also assessed. The results indicate add-on handles decreased sagittal flexion but increased twisting as compared to regular shovels. Perceived ratings were worse for shovels with add-on handles. Overall, there appears to be a trade-off between sagittal and nonsagittal motion and appears to have minimal impact on risk of low back injury. However, further research is necessary to determine the complete ramifications of this trade-off with respect to the biomechanical load within the low back and on other joints.
Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Back-injuries; Children; Equipment-design; Ergonomics; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Posture; Risk-factors; Skeletal-system-disorders; Skeletal-movement; Risk-factors; Author Keywords: Farm youth; interventions; manual material handling; musculoskeletal disorders; shoveling
Kermit G. Davis, PhD, Director, Low Back Biomechanics and Workplace Stress Laboratory, University of Cincinnati, Department of Environmental Health, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056
Issue of Publication
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Journal of Agromedicine
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division