Risk of musculoskeletal disorders in pepper cultivation workers

Main Article Content

Marta Gómez-Galán
Ángel-Jesús Callejón-Ferre
Manuel Díaz-Pérez
Ángel Carreño-Ortega
Alejandro López-Martínez

Abstract

Agricultural workers have an increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders, mainly due to the manual nature of the work. This study assesses the level of physical well-being in pepper cultivation workers in Almería (Spain). The objective was to analyze pepper cultivation tasks performed in the Almería-type greenhouse, using the OWAS (Ovako Working Posture Assessment System) and RULA (Rapid Upper Limb Assessment) methods. The OWAS results showed a normal posture percentage of 53 %, a medium risk of 30 %, a high risk of 16 %, and a very high risk of 1 %. The body areas most affected were the back and legs. The RULA assessment found high risk/action levels, with 50 % of the postures corresponding to level 3, 35 % to level 4, and 15 % to level 2. Improvements are therefore proposed; these include: redesigning tasks, mechanization, training, team development, and improving the workers' physical condition. The OWAS and RULA data may have overestimated the results, as workers do not appear to be limited in performing tasks and do not normally request sick leave.

Article Details

How to Cite
Gómez-Galán, M., Callejón-Ferre, Ángel-J., Díaz-Pérez, M., Carreño-Ortega, Ángel, & López-Martínez, A. (2021). Risk of musculoskeletal disorders in pepper cultivation workers. EXCLI Journal, 20, 1033-1054. https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2021-3853
Section
Original articles
Author Biographies

Marta Gómez-Galán, CIMEDES Research Center (CeiA3), Department of Engineering, University of Almería, Ctra. Sacramento, s/n La Cañada, 04120 Almería, Spain; Laboratory-Observatory of Andalusian Working Conditions in the Agricultural Sector (LASA), Avda. Albert Einstein, 4. Isla de la Cartuja, 41092 Seville, Spain

Ph D

Associate professor

Ángel-Jesús Callejón-Ferre, CIMEDES Research Center (CeiA3), Department of Engineering, University of Almería, Ctra. Sacramento, s/n La Cañada, 04120 Almería, Spain. Tel.: +34-950-214-236, Fax.: +34-950-015-491, E-mail: acallejo@ual.es

Full Professor

Manuel Díaz-Pérez, CIMEDES Research Center (CeiA3), Department of Engineering, University of Almería, Ctra. Sacramento, s/n La Cañada, 04120 Almería, Spain

Ph D

Associate professor

Ángel Carreño-Ortega, CIMEDES Research Center (CeiA3), Department of Engineering, University of Almería, Ctra. Sacramento, s/n La Cañada, 04120 Almería, Spain

Ph D

Associate professor

Alejandro López-Martínez, CIAMBITAL Research Center (CeiA3), Department of Engineering, University of Almería, Ctra. Sacramento, s/n La Cañada, 04120 Almería, Spain

Ph D

Associate professor