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Ergonomic Evaluation of California Winegrape Trellis Systems

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  028014,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.9604) @2002
Authors:   Andrew E. Kato, Fadi A. Fathallah, Erica Garcia, John A. Miles, James M. Meyers, Julia Faucett, and Ira Janowitz
Keywords:   Ergonomics, vineyards, winegrape, musculoskeletal disorders

The winegrape industry suffers from high incidence rates of work related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Pruning of dormant vines requires long periods of highly repetitive and physically demanding work that increases risk for MSDs. The purpose of this study is to quantify risk factors associated with the development of musculoskeletal injuries to the wrist and lower back while pruning five commonly used winegrape trellis systems. Eleven subjects (10 male, 1 female) participated in this study. Subjects performed a simulated pruning task as wrist and trunk postures and psychophysical data were gathered. The results showed significant differences among the trellis systems. Compared to the other systems, the vertical shoot positioned (VSP) was determined to be most optimal in terms of decreasing relative MSD risk. These results will assist vineyards in selecting suitable trellis systems that may improve worker health.

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