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A Review on Ergonomics in Agriculture. Part II: Mechanized Operations

Institute for Bio-Economy and Agri-Technology (IBO), Centre of Research and Technology-Hellas (CERTH), 6th km Charilaou-Thermi Rd, GR 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece
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Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 3484; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103484
Received: 23 February 2020 / Revised: 29 April 2020 / Accepted: 15 May 2020 / Published: 18 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Agri-Technologies)
Background: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) have long been recognized as the most common risks that operation of agricultural machineries poses, thus, undermining the ability to labor and quality of life. The purpose of this investigation was to thoroughly review the recent scholarly literature on ergonomics in agricultural mechanized operations; Methods: Electronic database research over the last ten years was conducted based on specific inclusion criteria. Furthermore, an assessment of the methodological quality and strength of evidence of potential risk factors causing MSDs was performed; Results: The results demonstrated that ergonomics in agriculture is an interdisciplinary topic and concerns both developed and developing countries. The machines with driving seats seem to be associated with painful disorders of the low back, while handheld machines with disorders of the upper extremities. The main roots of these disorders are the whole-body vibration (WBV) and hand-arm transmitted vibration (HATV). However, personal characteristics, awkward postures, mechanical shocks and seat discomfort were also recognized to cause MSDs; Conclusions: The present ergonomic interventions aim mainly at damping of vibrations and improving the comfort of operator. Nevertheless, more collaborative efforts among physicians, ergonomists, engineers and manufacturers are required in terms of both creating new ergonomic technologies and increasing the awareness of workers for the involved risk factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomechanics; musculoskeletal disorders; ergonomics; risk factors; vibration; agricultural machinery biomechanics; musculoskeletal disorders; ergonomics; risk factors; vibration; agricultural machinery
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Benos, L.; Tsaopoulos, D.; Bochtis, D. A Review on Ergonomics in Agriculture. Part II: Mechanized Operations. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 3484.

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