Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 10, Issue 3&4,2012
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

The risk of musculoskeletal disorders due to repetitive movements of upper limbs for workers employed to vegetable grafting


Andrea Colantoni *, Alvaro Marucci, Danilo Monarca, Barbara Pagniello, Massimo Cecchini, Roberto Bedini

Recieved Date: 2012-07-10, Accepted Date: 2012-09-20


The herbaceous grafting in horticulture is a practice widely spread and it permits to join the quality and productivity characteristics with those of resistance to pathology transmitted by the soil, much more quickly as regards the time necessary for genetic improvement. There are different methods of grafting (crown, cleft, whip grafting, etc.), especially used by skilled workers with the help of manual tools such as the grafting knife. Grafting work requires a considerable effort of upper limbs, due to the great number of repetitive movements and to the precision required for the cut. These factors determine a risk for workers employed in these operations more than six hours per day, risk which may involve some pathologies, generally of different origin defined “WMSDs”, work related musculo-skeletal disorders, such as wrist and shoulder tendinitis, lateral epicondylitis, syndrome of carpal tunnel etc. The aim of the research was to assess the risk of WMSDs due to repetitive work, for workers employed in manual grafting in greenhouses. For risk assessment authors used a method (“OCRA index” according to ISO 11228-3:2009, Ergonomics - Manual handling - Part 3: Handling of low loads at high frequency) which keeps into consideration several risk factors (repetitiveness, prehension force, posture). The results show a medium-high risk for the right limb, which effects the cutting up on the small plant to be grafted, and an acceptable risk for the left limb. The factors which  have contributed more to reach such risk level are the continuous pinch of the knife, the great number of movements and the lack of recovering time. 


Vegetable grafting, musculoskeletal disorders, repetitive movements, OCRA index

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2012
Volume: 10
Issue: 3&4
Category: Food and Health
Pages: 14-18

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