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Development and Assessment of Shovel Applying Foothold
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 Title & Authors
Development and Assessment of Shovel Applying Foothold
Lim, Cheolmin; Lee, Kyungsuk; Kim, Kyungran; Kim, Hyocher; Seo, Mintae; Kim, Seongwoo; Chae, Hyeseon;
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Objective: The aim of this study is to develop a farming shovel to reduce workload, which helps farmers lower the risk of musculoskeletal disease. Background: Most of work using farming tools including shovels requires repetitive works and awkward postures on body parts, and it could possibly cause work-related musculoskeletal disorders. It is necessary to develop and distribute farm equipment and tools in order to reduce physical workload. Method: To improve the most uncomfortable task perceived by ten farmers during the work with a shovel, the improved shovel was designed and made as a prototype for experiment for the comparison of the existing and improved shovels. Twenty males were recruited for this experiment, and muscle activity (%MVC) of six body parts and subjective discomfort ratings by body parts while working with a shovel were measured. A paired t-test was performed to compare physical workload between the existing shovel and the developed one. Results: A shovel applying foothold tied between shaft and blade was designed, which can help workers reduce repetitive bending of back and pressures for upper limbs while digging soil. According to compared evaluation of the developed shovel and the existing shovel, the developed shovel`s %MVCs in all experimental muscles were significantly lower than those of the existing shovel. The developed shovel showed the biggest drop in perceived subjective discomfort rating of back, followed by arm and neck, compared to the existing shovel. Conclusion: It was confirmed that attaching a foothold to a shovel was an effective way of reducing workload in back and upper limbs during digging. Application: In the near future, if we put the prototype of developed shovel to practical use after making up for defects, it will help farm work environment be healthier and safer.
 Cited by
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