Analysis of Cases of Ergonomic Improvements of Agricultural Work Support Equipments Kee, Do-Hyung; Song, Young-W.; Lee, In-Seok;
Objective: The objective of this study is to present varying cases of ergonomic improvements in equipments for agricultural work. Background: In Korean agricultural sector, many older people and females, who may be more vulnerable to musculoskeletal diseases than young males, are doing high stressful tasks such as manual materials tasks, harvesting, etc. For reducing the work stress of the farmers, the Korean government has been performing support projects to provide the farmers with agricultural implements specified for their crops. In the projects, ergonomics experts have participated and helped modify the equipments. Method: Fifty cases of equipment improvements, which were carried out in 33 farming organizations cultivating 13 different crops, were reviewed and presented by equipments and their parts. Results: In total, 283 cases of improvements for 12 equipments including 4-wheel, 1-wheel, and 3-wheel powered carts, grass cutter, conveyer, pest control machine, and so on, were presented. The improvements were also classified according to the ergonomic principles like compatibility, ease of use, safety and fitting to the anthropometry, etc. Frequencies of improvements by equipment and its part were the highest in carts and controls, respectively. Principles of safety and ease of use were adopted more frequently in improving equipments than others. Conclusion: The tables of examples of improvements of agricultural implements are main results of this study and the systematical summaries are expected to be widely used in the development of more improved agricultural implements. Application: The results could be used as practical guidelines in ergonomically developing and modifying agricultural implements by both the experts and non-experts in ergonomics. The improvements would contribute to reduction of stress in farm work, which result in increasing the level of safety and health of Korean agricultural society.