Ergonomic Evaluation of Young Agricultural Operators Using Handle Equipment Through Electromyography and Vibrations Analysis Between the Fingers

Saf Health Work. 2022 Dec;13(4):440-447. doi: 10.1016/j.shaw.2022.07.003. Epub 2022 Aug 13.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Agricultural handle equipment is present on all production areas’ farms. They are handy and portable; however, excessive use can lead to acute traumas or accidental injuries. Repetitive movements, awkward postures, and hand-arm vibrations predispose them to pain and work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The purpose of this study was to observe the interaction of handle equipment in terms of electromyographic activity and analyze the postural work-related alterations.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty male agricultural operators, mean age 24 ± 1.54 years, underwent the electromyographic analysis testing their muscular activities with a brushcutter, electric saw, and hedge trimmer in four different test conditions.

RESULTS: The brushcutter proved to be the agricultural handle equipment with the higher mean frequency (3.37 ± 0.38 Hz) and root mean square (5.25 ± 1.24 ms-2). Furthermore, the digital postural analysis showed a general asymmetry of the main arm and the respective side of the trunk. The head resulted right inclined in the anterior frontal plane by 5.7° ± 1.2°; the right scapula lower than the left in the posterior frontal plane (8.5° ± 1.8°), and a working trunk inclination of 34.15° ± 5.7°.

CONCLUSIONS: Vibrations of handle equipment and awkward working postures represent a risk for agricultural operators. Preventive measures are required to avoid young operators from experiencing musculoskeletal disorders all lifelong.

PMID:36579008 | PMC:PMC9772485 | DOI:10.1016/j.shaw.2022.07.003

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