What is ergonomics and how does it relate to agricultural work?
Ergonomics is the study of the design of devices, systems, and physical working conditions to fit the capacities and requirements of the worker. Agricultural work, including farming and harvesting, requires labor-intensive, physical activity using repetitive tasks like bending, cutting, climbing, and carrying heavy loads.
Two vacant WCAHS administration positions were filled this fall with Fadi Fathallah, PhD, becoming the new WCAHS Associate Director and Christopher Simmons, PhD, becoming the new WCAHS Director of Research.
Lower back pain is one of most serious health problems for farmworkers, and it can result from the intensive manual work that farming requires, such as carrying heavy objects or working long hours in a stooped posture.
Professor Fadi Fathallah, engineer Victor Duraj, and others at the UC Agricultural Ergonomics Research Center (UC AERC) are continuing their earlier work funded by NIOSH Community Partners for Healthy Farming Intervention that showed some workers who harvest peaches and nectarines prefer a ladder with shorter spacing between steps.