Risk assessment of upper limb musculoskeletal disorders in agriculture: compared experiences

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This discussion paper looks at the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the agricultural sector in the EU in general and in Italy in particular. MSDs are the most common occupational diseases: lower back problems and upper limb problems are particularly prevalent. The major factors that contribute to upper limb work-related MSDs include repetitive movements, awkward postures and the exertion of force.

The paper describes some activities carried out by INAIL-CONTARP (Italian National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work - Advisory department for risk assessment and prevention), aimed at standardising the assessment of biomechanical risks by means of the OCRA checklist. It also describes a web application that helps to recognise the presence of the risk due to upper limb repetitive movements; it concludes that these activities are applicable to other EU Member States.

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