Discovering the physical onerous activities in manual sesame grain harvest using postural analysis

Abdullah Hayati, Afshin Marzban, Masoud Leylizadeh


The sesame oil is accounted as high-priced and high-quality oil, but its production is less than that of major oilseeds due to labor-intensive harvest similar to many agricultural activities. These types of activities are often onerous leading the workers to occupational risk factors such as musculoskeletal disorders. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the manual sesame grain harvest (consisting of work tasks of mowing, tying and shaking) regarding postural workloads to identify onerous activities during this operation which would help to mitigate some problems of the sesame grain production chain. Ovako Working posture Analysis System (OWAS) was used for working posture analysis of twenty-six male workers employed for this study. Results showed that stooped and squatting postures were the most common awkward postures similar to other agricultural activities. Posture rotation was recommended as a potential simple ergonomic solution in the present study. Whereas the work task of tying had the highest requirement for corrective measures, most onerous work task could be shaking, due to the low probability of success of posture rotation implementation in it. About this work task, onerous acts may not be mitigated but by introducing a tool. But about some work tasks (i.e. in the work tasks of mowing and tying) ergonomic recommendations including posture rotation could be introduced when the mechanization and technology are still not entered. Overall, further studies would be conducted to discover the effects of some simple ergonomic interventions and manual or mechanized tools in manual sesame grain harvest.


Agricultural mechanization, Ergonomics, Occupational health, Manual worker, Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), Oilseed, Crop cultivation

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