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Postural Risk in Manual Planting Operations of Poplar: Two Options Compared

Department of Forest Engineering, Forest Management Planning and Terrestrial Measurements, Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering, Transilvania University of Braşov, Şirul Beethoven No.1, 500123 Braşov, Romania
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Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5531; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145531
Received: 5 June 2020 / Revised: 1 July 2020 / Accepted: 6 July 2020 / Published: 9 July 2020
Poplar forests are cultivated worldwide on extended areas, contributing to the provision of wood for industries. Their management is intensive, especially in planting operations which are done, in many parts of the world, by the use of manual labor. This situation raises the question on their sustainability from an ergonomics point of view. Particularly, the postural risk is in question, as uncomfortable work postures may cause musculo-skeletal disorders. Two types of planting operations (large cutting—CP and bare-root seedling—SP) were selected as representatives for the evaluation of postural risks which was carried out for 14 subjects. Based on the analysis of approximately 14,500 images (approximately 67 h of field study), the postural risk indexes were estimated at 259 and 250 for the CP and SP, respectively. No significant differences were found between the operations, but the high share of effective planting tasks and their associated postural risk indexes generated these concerning results. The main conclusion is that these kinds of planting operations need postural improvement and ways for doing so should be researched in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: agro-forestry operations; poplar planting; manual labor; postural risk; OWAS method; sustainability; reengineering; improvement agro-forestry operations; poplar planting; manual labor; postural risk; OWAS method; sustainability; reengineering; improvement
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Marogel-Popa, T.; Marcu, M.V.; Borz, S.A. Postural Risk in Manual Planting Operations of Poplar: Two Options Compared. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5531.

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