Viticulture: Common Injuries in the Industry

The winemaking industry is a very hands-on workplace. Because of this, cellar hands and wine making staffs incur many injuries. They are also exposed to health risks that are related to their line of work. Like your typical agricultural laborers, viticulture workers are prone to farm-related injuries and medical conditions. In addition, their working environment presents hazards that accompany their job. These include insect bites, thermal stress, exposure to UV rays and harsh weather conditions. Moreover, there’s a good chance that these laborers acquire musculoskeletal disorders, asthma and ailments due to pesticides.

Viticulture: Common Injuries in the Industry

There are some wineries that manually prune their vineyards by hand. Unfortunately, hand pruning has adverse effects, which usually cause pain and injury. One of which is plantar fasciitis. This medical condition results to heel pain due to swollen plantar fascia, the ligament that connects our toes and heel bones. Luckily, this can be treated via low level laser therapy.

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders

Viticulture workers are vulnerable from being struck down with musculoskeletal disorders, mainly because of the nature of their tasks. These include straining of the back and neck, tendinopathy and neuropathy. In a study, French vineyard workers were found to develop 20 percent of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. There is said to be a relationship between suffering from the injury with the intensity of their pruning activity. Workers also experienced pain in their hands and wrists, and had nocturnal hand paresthesia.

Pruning injuries also involve muscle and tendon fatigue. These types of injuries are normally caused by monotonous movements, bad posture and forceful hand activities.

  • Mesothelioma

Although not considered as an injury, winemakers and workers are susceptible to mesothelioma and other conditions stemming from exposure to asbestos. According to Asbestos Justice, there are reported cases of mesothelioma among Italian winemakers. Mesothelioma is a cancer in the mesothelial tissue that is normally associated with exposure to asbestos.

Personal Protection While Working

It is advised that workers pack their body with good food, especially during breakfast. This will give them enough energy to perform their chores in the vineyard. Moreover, they should also wear appropriate clothing and protection from the sun. It is also highly suggested that they do stretches, primarily on their backs, forearms and shoulders in between breaks. Lastly, they should rehydrate their body by drinking enough fluids.

Occupation Health & Safety in the Viticulture Industry

The Viticulture industry has its own share of problems with regards to the occupational health and safety of their workers. Wine is common staple in a huge number of restaurants and households making them a drink of choice by many. The supply of wine is made possible through the shared efforts of the viticulture workers. The job however, is taxing and demanding making them prone to injuries. Let us look at some of the OHS issues in the wine making business. Injuries to cellar hands & viticulture workers & the therapeutic solutions to their problems.

Occupational health risks of wine industry workers is a persistent problem that has plagued a considerable number of employees. Wine industry workers have a number of specific health risks associated with their occupation. Viticulture workers are at risk in developing work-related musculoskeletal problems. Hand pruning remains the single largest expense in vineyard operations, though mechanization has had a significant impact.

Pruning injuries are usually caused or aggravated by work or activities that involve repetitive movement, sustained or constrained postures, or forceful movements. This in turn makes it problematic to complete their task in a timely and effective manner. Muscles and tendons are able to withstand fatigue and recover better if they are given a variety of tasks and regular rest breaks.

It is good to hear that they government are taking the necessary course of action in an effort to protect labor groups, viticulture workers included. The new Health and Safety at Work ACT has a key emphasis on everyone in the workplace being responsible for health and safety; everyone is equal; everyone has some responsibilities. This seems to be in response with the growing number of lawsuits in France have begun to expose the serious risk faced by those working on non-organic vineyards. Numerous studies have suggested links between pesticide use and a range of health impacts, including cancers, Parkinson’s disease and other chronic conditions which is a cause for concern.

Vineyards investing to an insurance for wineries goes a long way in protecting not only their employees but also with their clients. For instance, the general liability insurance helps protect companies and business owners from unexpected events, hazards, problems and accidents. It’s particularly important if your winery offers public tours and tasting events.

Viticulture does indeed involve a lot of tasks that needs to be performed. Without them, companies will not be able to produce high quality wine for their customers. This is the reason why it is important to consider the needs and demands for viticulture workers. One way of offering them relief is by offering them a trip to an osteopath. Osteopathy is a form of drug-free non-invasive manual medicine that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework, which includes the joints, muscles and spine. This description fits right into the alley for viticulture workers which experience a lot of joints and muscle pains.

These clinics come in great numbers making them fairly easy to find. There are Balmain Osteopaths that have setup their services over the internet. This in turn allows their patients to setup an appointment at any given time when the need calls for them to do so at the comfort of their very home. Reserve a schedule today!