The Rung Spacing project is a NIOSH-funded (via Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, a NIOSH Agricultural Research Center), multi-year study following up on a successful element of AERC’s earlier Treefrut Ergonomics Project. The main goal of the proposed research is to reduce the number of falls from ladders in orchards, through an alternative ladder or set of ladders designed to better suit the anthropometry of specific worker populations. With a research design focused on optimum rung spacing, the improved orchard ladder is expected to reduce worker force exertions, fatigue, and self-reported pain, as well as a potential increase in worker stability during climbing activities or unexpected ladder movement or foot slippage.
Blog entry expected mid-August 2014
Treefruit Ergonomics Project
The Treefruit Ergonomics Project was a NIOSH-funded, multi-year study of the California treefruit industry with respect to ergonomic hazards and intervention opportunities. Working with orchard managers/owners, orchard workers, and UC Farm Advisors, the research focused on picking bags in citrus, a self-propelled platform in pomes, and modified ladders in stonefruit. An overview of the project is available as a podcast of a seminar presented for the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety.
Podcast “Harvesting Aids for Reducing Ergonomics Risk Factors in Fruit Orchards”
Winegrape Harvest Project
The Winegrape Harvest Project was a NIOSH-funded, multi-year study of the application of existing assistive technology to help reduce musculoskeletal disorder risk factors in the manual harvest of winegrapes in Sonoma and Napa Counties of Northern California. In September and October of 2001, harvest trials using the pictured machine were completed in several cooperating vineyard operations under full production conditions. The machine was an improved version of last year’s prototype. Preliminary results are promising and related health symptom survey data from the trial and control groups are being evaluated. Inquiries may be directed to John Miles at (530) 304-1339 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UC Davis News Release: 10/10/01: Grape-bin Collector to Take the Strain out of Harvest>
Vineyard Trellis Project
The Vineyard Trellis Project was a NIOSH-funded, multi-year study of the role of trellis selection in determining later ergonomics risk factor exposure. This study is occurring with industry cooperators in the Napa and Sonoma Counties of Northern California. Reportedly Califonia’s winegrape industry is planting some 200,000 acres per year. The trellis design selected at vineyard establishment will constitute the workstation that the workers will face for the next twenty or more years. Inquiries may be directed to Fadi Fathallah at (530) 752-1612 or via email at email@example.com.
San Joaquin Project
The San Joaquin Ergonomics Programs Project was a NIOSH-funded, multi-year study of how several companies subject to California’s ergonomics standard would respond to a situation that triggers the standard’s requirements. This study is occurring with cotton-grower and fruit-packer cooperators in California’s San Joaquin County. A team of University and industry professionals is serving as consultant and part facilitator to the process. Inquiries may be directed to James Meyers at (510) 643-5310 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Vineyard Ergonomics Project was a NIOSH-funded, multi-year study of musculoskeletal disorders in participating wine grape vineyards in the Sonoma and Napa Counties of Northern California. A team of University and industry professionals is using health and injury surveys and job risk “scoring” techniques to identify the highest risk jobs. A variety of potential interventions were pilot tested, and a smaller alternative tub was selected as the primary intervention. Its average filled weight was 46 pounds versus 57 for the existing popular tub. Where introduced and demonstrated it has becomes almost exclusively preferred by the workers. Health survey results show a reduction in pain symptoms reported by the workers. Please see the Tip Sheets. Inquiries may be made to John Miles and James Meyers.
The Nursery Ergonomics Project was a NIOSH-funded, multi-year study of musculoskeletal disorders in the commercial nursery industry. Three nurseries in Southern California have been participating as active cooperators. A team of University and industry professionals has identified the highest risk jobs and has developed tools and systems to reduce stooped postures and highly repetitive finger motions in selected jobs. Some tools and systems are now undergoing extended trials by the nurseries, and some hand tools are planned for commercialization in the very near future. Take a look at some of the tools and read some of the published results to learn more about this project. Please see the Tip Sheets. Inquiries may be made to John Miles and James Meyers.