Background Farmers are very resilient and resourceful. After experiencing an injury that limits their mobility, they will often fabricate an adaptation that will enable them to return to farming. A review of homemade and commercial assistive technology products will be shown. The discussion will include the pros and cons of the different solutions in relation to re-injury and secondary injury.
Methods Through a project that assists farmers with disabilities and chronic health conditions, we have aided over 150 individuals to date with worksite accommodations and modifications. Once a farmer enters the program, a worksite assessment is completed that analyses tasks necessary to perform their job. After reviewing how the tasks are currently being performed, recommendations are made for safer and more effective alternatives that often involve adaptive equipment.
Results Farmers, when faced with disabilities and chronic health conditions, are very resourceful and will find creative ways to complete their tasks. However, many of these solutions may not be the safest alternative and often commercial solutions are more effective. The majority of the farmers in the project were unaware of technologies available to them. Implementation of the recommended solutions indicated a reduction of re-injury and the occurrence of secondary injuries.
Conclusions Farmers with disabilities and service professionals need to be aware of the various assistive technologies available. By using proper adaptive equipment and implementing worksite modifications, farmers can safely do many of the tasks they did before their illness or injury.
- tractor safety
- agriculture safety technology
- assistive technology
- injury prevention
- farmers with disabilities
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