Prevention of Occupational Traumas by Developing an Ergonomic Design and Modifying Farmers’ Postures in Walnut Gardens of Tuyserkan, Iran


1 Department of Industrial Design, School of Architecture and Urban Studies, Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST), Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Industrial Design, Pars University, Tehran, Iran

3 Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Serdang, Selagor, Malaysia

4 Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology(IUST), Tehran, Iran


Background and Objectives: Occupational traumas are known as work‑related disorders, associating with some sorts of factors such as repetitive tasks, body postures, workstations, and hand tools. These traumas cause various problems for both workers and employers. Due to occupational hygiene considerations, problems such as cumulative trauma disorders, occupational trauma, low back pain (LBP), and work‑related musculoskeletal disorders should be controlled. In this regard, ergonomic interventions can have efficient outcomes toward controlling occupational traumas. In this study, the focus was on working at some walnut gardens in the city of Tuyserkan in Iran, to reach an ergonomic analysis base, in which hand tools were assessed. The main objective was to develop a new ergonomic design for workers using hand tools. Subjects and Methods: In this cross‑sectional study, 19 workers participated and filled out the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ). Their body postures during harvesting walnuts were evaluated by the Ovako Working Posture Analysis System method. Hand tool analysis was also performed by ergonomic risk assessments. Results: The results showed that 15% of the farmers experienced some sorts of trauma during the harvest while using traditional hand tools. The results also emphasized that 61.5% of the workers’ body postures should be modified. In addition, according to the NMQ, the most common problems among workers were wrist disorders, LBP, and knees’ and shoulders’ disorders.
Conclusions: Considering experimental data, a new device was developed in which the weight, adjustability, and form of hand tools were modified under ergonomic considerations. The benefits of the new design were confirmed by SOLIDWORKS software. Since this new device helps farmers to decrease extra force exertion in awkward postures, it is expected to improve farmers’ condition while using it.


1. Sadeghi Naeini H, Karmegam K, Dalal K. Ergonomics in agriculture: An approach in prevention of work‑related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). J Agric Environ Sci 2014;3:33‑51. 
2. Villarejo D, Baron SL. The occupational health status of hired farm workers. Occup Med 1999;14:613‑35. 
3. Xiang H, Stallones L, Keefe TJ. Back pain and agricultural work among farmers: An analysis of the Colorado Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance Survey. Am J Ind Med 1999;35:310‑6. 
4. Niu S. Ergonomics and occupational safety and health: An ILO perspective. Appl Ergon 2010;41:744‑53. 
5. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Musculoskeletal Disorders. Vol. 2011. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); 2009. 
6. Kee D, Haslam R. Prevalence of work‑related musculoskeletal disorders in agriculture workers in Korea and preventative interventions. Work 2019;64:763‑75. 
7. Hossain MD, Aftab A, Al Imam MH, Mahmud I, Chowdhury IA, Kabir RI, et al. Prevalence of work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) and ergonomic risk assessment among readymade garment workers of Bangladesh: A cross sectional study. PLoS One 2018;13:e0200122. 
8. Pinzke S, Lavesson L. Ergonomic conditions in manual harvesting in Swedish outdoor cultivation. Ann Agric Environ Med 2018;25:481‑7. 
9. Hildebrandt V. Musculoskeletal symptoms and workload in 12 branches of Dutch agriculture. Ergonomics 1995;12:2576‑87. 
10. Syazwani MN, Baba MD, Mohd Nizam AR, Ezrin Hani S, Norani N, Shamsul Bahri MT, et al. Ergonomic risk assessment of manual handling tools by oil palm collectors and loaders. Malay J Public Health Med 2016;16:56‑60. 
11. Ranney D, Wells R, Moore A. Upper limb musculoskeletal disorders in highly repetitive industries: Precise anatomical physical findings. Ergonomics 1995;38:1408‑23. 
12. Weir S, Salkever DS, Rivara FP, Jurkovich GJ, Nathens AB, Mackenzie EJ. One‑year treatment costs of trauma care in the USA. Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res 2010;10:187‑97. 
13. Nankongnab N, Kongtip P, Tipayamongkholgul M, Bunngamchairat A, Sitthisak S, Woskie S. Difference in Accidents, Health Symptoms, and Ergonomic Problems between Conventional Farmers Using Pesticides and Organic Farmers. J Agromedicine, Published online 2019. p. 1-8. 
14. Khidiya MS, Bhardwaj A. An ergonomic approach to design hand tool for agricultural production. Work 2012;41 Suppl 1:1335‑41. 
15. Jiang CY. Ergonomic improvement on the farm/garden hoe. California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. Bachelor of Science Industrial Engineering thesis, 2011. p. 4‑39. 
16. Available from: [Last accessd on 2019 Sep 01]. 
17. Wahyudi A, Dania W, Silalahi R. Work Posture Analysis of Manual Material Handling Using OWAS Method. Agric Agric Sci Proc 2015;3:195‑9. 
18. Herzog N, Buchmeister B. The Review of Ergonomics Analysis for Body Postures Assessment. Ch. 14. Vienna: DAAAM Int. Scientific Book; 2015. p. 153‑64. 
19. Gómez‑Galán M, Pérez‑Alonso J, Callejón‑Ferre ÁJ, López‑Martínez J. Musculoskeletal disorders: OWAS review. Ind Health 2017;55:314‑37. 
20. Berlin C, Adams C. Production Ergonomics: Designing Work Systems to Support Optimal Human Performance. London: Ubiquity Press; 2017. p. 139‑60. 
21. Parvez MS, Shahriar MM. Agricultural Farm‑Related Injuries in Bangladesh and Convenient Design of Working Hand Tools. J Healthc Eng 2018;2018;1-10. 
22. Fazel MR, Fakharian E, Razi E, Abedzadeh‑Kalahroudi M, Mahdian M, MohammadzadehM, et al. Epidemiology of home‑related injuries during a six‑year period in Kashan, Iran. Arch Trauma Res 2012;1:118‑22. 
23. Honarpisheh H. A comprehensive model for trauma research design. Arch Trauma Res 2012;1:3‑13. 
24. Talari H, Moussavi N, Abedzadeh‑Kalahroudi M, Atoof F, Abedini A. Correlation Between Intra‑Abdominal Free Fluid and Solid Organ Injury in Blunt Abdominal Trauma. Arch Trauma Res 2015;4:e29184. 
25. Naeini SH. Towards Quality of Life through the “Ergosustainomics” Approach. Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association; 2018. p. 662‑8. 
26. Huang YH, Lee J, McFadden AC, Murphy LA, Robertson MM, Cheung JH, et al. Beyond safety outcomes: An investigation of the impact of safety climate on job satisfaction, employee engagement and turnover using social exchange theory as the theoretical framework. Appl Ergon 2016;55:248‑57. 
27. Muanah T, Syuaib MF, Liyantono S, Economic Ergonomic Approach to Design an Optimal Manpower and Mechanization in Rice Production. IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 2018;147:1-8. 
28. Sadeghi Naeini H, Dalal K, Mosaddad H, Karuppiah K. Economic effectiveness of Ergonomics interventions. Int J Ind Eng Product Res 2018;29:261‑76. 
29. Burgess‑Limerick R. Participatory ergonomics: Evidence and implementation lessons. Appl Ergon 2018;68:289‑93. 
30. Abeysekera J, Illankoon P. The demands and benefits of ergonomics in Sri Lankan apparel industry: A case study at MAS holdings. Work 2016;55:255‑61. 
31. Sanjog J, Patel T, Karmakar S. Occupational ergonomics research and applied contextual design implementation for an industrial shop‑floor workstation. Int J Ind Ergon 2019;72:188‑98. 
32. Beevis D, Slade IM. Ergonomics – Costs and benefits. Appl Ergon 2003;34:413‑8. 
33. Khazaei S, Jenabi E, Zobdeh Z, Biglari M, Afshari M, Gholamaliee B, et al. Pattern of trauma related to falling from walnut tree as an occupational injury: A cross‑sectional study in the west of Iran. Arch Trauma Res 2019;8:99‑103.