Farming involves a lot of repetitive work. Manual handling and lifting in particular can cause strain and awkward positions. Outdoor work and specificities of terrain make the design of agricultural machinery challenging. This discussion paper looks at the use of mechanisation to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders, especially upper limb disorders, in the agricultural sector. It also covers standards for risk assessment.
The paper includes a case study on agriculture in the Marche region of Italy and describes the support available from INAIL, the Italian National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work, to help micro and small agricultural enterprises to prevent MSDs.