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Applying Hierarchical Task Analysis to Depict Human Safety Errors during Pesticide Use in Vineyard Cultivation

1
Department of Chemical Engineering Materials Environment (DICMA), Sapienza-University of Rome, via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy
2
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fishery, DISR I, via XX Settembre 20, 00187 Rome, Italy
3
National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL), Via Fontana Candida, 1-00078 Monte Porzio Catone (RM), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2019, 9(7), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9070158
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract

The use of pesticides in agriculture is a significant problem at a global level, not only from an environmental perspective but also from the farmers’ health and safety point of view. In the literature, several studies have discussed the safe behavior and risk perception of farmers. However, human errors when dealing with pesticides and the related work equipment are rarely considered. To reduce this research gap, a study of the human safety errors in pesticide use based on hierarchical task analysis is proposed. In particular, such a bottom-up approach was applied to vineyard cultivation and considered all the activities that operators carry out when using pesticides. The results of this study showed that most of the identified human errors were action errors, i.e., potential failures of the operator in completing the activity successfully. In addition, retrieval and checking errors resulted in being rather common. These outputs shed light on the gap between the information received and the practical need for operators to reduce their failure to perform specific activities. Therefore, while the present study augments current knowledge on the safe use of pesticides, further research is needed to address human errors in agricultural activities, thus extending these results to a larger sample size as well as to other cultivation types. View Full-Text
Keywords: human safety; human error; occupational health and safety (OHS); hierarchical task analysis (HTA); systematic human error reduction and prediction approach (SHERPA); farmers’ behavior; pesticide application; vineyard cultivation human safety; human error; occupational health and safety (OHS); hierarchical task analysis (HTA); systematic human error reduction and prediction approach (SHERPA); farmers’ behavior; pesticide application; vineyard cultivation
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Fargnoli, M.; Lombardi, M.; Puri, D. Applying Hierarchical Task Analysis to Depict Human Safety Errors during Pesticide Use in Vineyard Cultivation. Agriculture 2019, 9, 158.

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