ERGONOMIC ASSESSMENT OF A SINGLE RAW MANUALLY OPERATED HAND-PUSHED WEEDER
Weed control is one of the major problems in crops and vegetables production in Nigeria. Traditionally, the conventional manual weeders are the most common techniques used by small-scale farmers for controlling weeds on their farms. However, these weeders tedious in operation, time consuming and less effective. They also infringe pains and fatigue on the operator due to continuous bending posture. To address these problems, a single raw hand-pushed weeder was designed and a prototype produced in the Department of Agricultural and Bio-Resources Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Ergonomic assessment of the weeder was conducted in the experimental farm of the University, Zaria. A male operator of about 30 years was used for the study. Physiological parameters of the operator and some ergonomic parameters, such as heartbeat and energy consumption were also compared to ascertain the operatorâ€™s comfort in order to reduce drudgery and fatigue. Results obtained indicated that the physiological cost of weeding was lower for the developed single raw hand-pushed weeder as compared with the conventional manual weeder. Heartbeat rate during the weeding operation 71 beat per minute for the hand-pushed weeder as against 85 beats per minute for the conventional weeder. The operating energy required for operating developed single raw hand-pushed weeders was 25.54 kJ/min against 30.27 kJ/min for conventional manual weeder. This is clear indication that the developed single raw hand-pushed weeder could be operated for longer duration at reduced stress and drudgery, and thus more effective and efficient.
Authors : Saleh, A.
Category : Open Access Volume (Issue) : 9(1) Date Uploaded : 10th May 2023