Power Cutter for Nursery Propagation

Task
Cutting plants with propagation shears

Problem
Workers in large commercial nurseries often have to cut plants for extended periods of time with hand-held shears. They perform highly repetitive gripping, and are exposed to localized contact stress on the hands. High forces are often needed to cut through thicker, woody parts of the plants with shears that are too small to provide sufficient mechanical advantage.

Intervention
A bench-mounted power cutter was installed to eliminate repetitive squeezing and reduce the force required to cut through the thick wood.

Cost
$1000 - $1250

Evaluation of Intervention

  • Pros
  • Eliminates finger force required for pipetting
  • Reduces torque of screwing/unscrewing caps
  • One handed task
  • Adjustable to variety of caps/containers
  • Cons
  • Cost
  • Shoulder Flexion Required

Semi-Quantitative Evaluation of Intervention

  • Reduction of Identified Risk Factor
  • No New Risk Factors Introduced
  • Productivity not Reduced
  • Low Cost
  • Total
  • 5/5
  • 4/5
  • 5/5
  • 3/5
  • 17/20

Other Possible Interventions

  • Enlarge flask cap radius
  • Electric Jar Opener for bulk medium solution
  • Increase friction on caps
  • Spring-loaded device for suspending pipette dispenser

Acknowledgements
Submitted by Keyna Chow and Meredith Gajda