Development and Evaluation of Ergonomic Interventions for Bucket Handling on Farms
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Development and Evaluation of Ergonomic Interventions for Bucket Handling on Farms

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  • Alternative Title:
    Hum Factors
  • Description:
    Objective The aim of this study was to introduce and evaluate two interventions, Ergo Bucket Carrier (EBC) and Easy Lift (EL), for youths (and adults) to handle water/feed buckets on farms. Background The physical activities of both adult and youth farm workers contribute to the development of low-back disorders (LBDs). Many of the activities youths perform on farms are associated with increased LBD risk, particularly, the handling of water and feed buckets. Methods Seventeen adult and youth participants (10 males and seven females) participated in this study. To assess the risk of LBDs, the participants were instrumented with a three-dimensional spinal electrogoniometer while lifting, carrying, and dumping water buckets using traditional method and the two interventions. Results For both the adult and youth groups, the results showed that the two interventions significantly decrease the magnitudes of LBD risk in many of the tasks evaluated. Overall, the use of the EBC resulted in a 41% reduction in the level of LBD risk for the carrying task, and a reduction of 69% for the dumping task. Using the EL, on the other hand, is especially effective for lifting tasks (55% reduction in LBD risk). Results of the subjective response were consistent with the objective evaluations. Conclusion This study demonstrated the potential for ergonomic interventions in reducing LBD risk during the common farming task of bucket handling. Application Potential application of this study includes the introduction of the EBC and EL in family farms to reduce the LBD risk among youth and adult farmers.
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