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Systematic review of occupational hazards at postharvest grain operations


Introduction Agriculture stands out in relation to the high number of occupational incidents and diseases. In this sense, grains postharvest operations, such as receiving, precleaning, drying, storage and shipping the grains, are highlighted in the number of injuries and fatalities.

Aim To identify and extract qualitative and quantitative data related to the main occupational hazards present in grains postharvest operations at preprocessing and storage facilities.

Methods A systematic review was carried out in the databases of Science Direct, Scopus and Web of Science for papers published between 1980 and 2019. The abstract should have described a study related to any occupational hazard (physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic and mechanical) and at least one of the occupational hazards should be related to any postharvest operations.

Results and discussions In total, 42% of 38 analysed papers were published between 2015 and 2019. Three journals were responsible for 45% of publications related to occupational hazards present in grains postharvest operations. The most part of analysed publications related to confined spaces, grain entrapment, machine entanglement and falls hazards are related to Purdue University’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program which applied research in occupational safety at grains postharvest.

Conclusions The creation of standardised internationals can collaborate to reduce occupational risks in grain storage units. It is suggested the development of monitoring technologies to obtain real-time information on noise, dust, gases and heat in postharvest operations and equipment. The use of intelligent algorithms can create prevention mechanisms for possible occupational risks and avoid injuries to employees.

  • Literature review
  • Occupational safety
  • Grain handling and storage facilities
  • Post-harvest
  • Agricultural engineering

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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