Climbing coconut trees is an important activity in rural agricultural wage workers. Generally, skilled workers are employed to collect the coconuts from the tree. Agricultural workers employed for coconut tree climbing suffer musculoskeletal disorders than any other type of injury or illness. The developed tree climbing device (T1) was evaluated based on ergonomical parameters and ergo refinements were carried out. The inclination of upper frame of climbing device is increased (T1) with respect to the horizontal, while moving towards the top of the tree. As a result, the centre of gravity of the user moves towards outside of the body making him feel insecure and unstable. The upper frame of coconut tree climbing device was suitably modified to avoid downward inclination such that ergo refined device (T2) improves the safety and ease of operation. The ergo refined coconut tree climbing device (T2) enhanced the comfort and safety of male subjects with 7.8, 12.2, 10.7 and 20.5% reduction in heart rate, energy expenditure, overall discomfort rating and body part discomfort score, respectively and 2.6 and 4.1% increase in overall safety and ease of operation rating respectively when compared to T1. The ergo refined coconut tree climbing device resulted in 20.6% savings in cost and 11.8% savings in time of climbing and harvesting coconut when compared with T1 model.
Key words: Coconut tree, climbing device, ergo-refinements.
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