Analysis of Biomechanical Load When Shoveling

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Hansson, Per-Anders;
  • Oberg, Kurt E. T.


This work describes a study of the biomechanical load when working with shovels of varying design. Special emphasis is placed on spine compression and shear forces. The method used for analysis of the biomechanical load uses optoelectronic measurement data of body positions as input to a computerized biomechanical analysis model.

The effects of shaft length, shaft angle, alternative shaft designs, and variations in operator anthropometry are studied when lifting a loaded shovel from the ground. One conclusion is that the forces loading the spine can be decreased by using a shovel with its shaft angled to allow a more upright working posture. Another conclusion is that the anthropometry of the operator has major effects on biomechanical load levels in the performed task.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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