Risk Factors for Developing Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders during Dairy Farming

Sayed Mohammad Taghavi, Hamidreza Mokarami, Omran Ahmadi, Lorann Stallones, Asghar Abbaspour, Hossein Marioryad


Background: Dairy farming work involves frequent use of poor postures. These postures may increase the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders among dairy workers.

Objective: To assess postural load during performance of various tasks related to dairy farming.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on a dairy farm in Iran. In order to assess postural load, tasks related to dairy farming were divided into 3 categories: feeding, milking, and manure disposal. Each task was then divided into its constituent work subdivisions (tasks). Finally, the working posture for each work subdivision was evaluated using Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA).

Results: Based on the results from the REBA score, the poorest risk scores (risk level 4) were associated with the following tasks: (1) manure disposal, (2) filling feed bags, and (3) pouring milk into a bucket. Other tasks such as filling corn containers, pouring corn into the milling machine, preparing the feed, pouring food into mangers, attaching the milking machine, and pouring milk from a bucket into a tank imposed high risk (risk level 3). The risk for the tasks of washing and disinfecting the udders were assessed as medium risks.

Conclusion: The risk levels associated with most of the tasks on the studied farm were unacceptably high. Therefore, it is essential to implement ergonomic interventions to reduce risk levels of the tasks.


Human Engineering; Risk factors; Occupational injuries; Musculoskeletal diseases; Dairy products

doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2017.861

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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