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Analysis of Biomechanical Load when Shoveling

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

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 2(3): 127-142. (doi: 10.13031/2013.19445) @1996
Authors:   P.A. Hansson, K. E.T. Oberg
Keywords:   Biomechanical load, Hand tools, Spinal disc load

This work describes a study of the biomechanical load when working with shovels of varying design. Special emphasis is placed on spine compression and shear forces. The method used for analysis of the biomechanical load uses optoelectronic measurement data of body positions as input to a computerized biomechanical analysis model.

The effects of shaft length, shaft angle, alternative shaft designs, and variations in operator anthropometry are studied when lifting a loaded shovel from the ground. One conclusion is that the forces loading the spine can be decreased by using a shovel with its shaft angled to allow a more upright working posture. Another conclusion is that the anthropometry of the operator has major effects on biomechanical load levels in the performed task.

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