Date of Award

Summer 2021

Publication Type


Degree Name



Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

E. Kim

Second Advisor

M. Wang

Third Advisor

N. Zamani


Hand arm vibration syndrome, Blueberry harvesting, Worker injury



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Blueberry production has skyrocketed in the past two decades due to an exponential increase in consumer demand around the world. The harvesting of fresh, high-quality blueberries requires extensive care. Large-scale automatic harvesters damage the fruit and make it unsuitable for storage and transportation, which requires more than two weeks to complete. Therefore, hand harvesters are used, avoiding damage to the fruit, and increasing harvesting efficiency multifold when compared with that of hand-picking. The downside of these hand harvesters is their high Hand Arm Vibration (HAV), which is very dangerous for the worker and can cause hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). This syndrome affects osteoarticular, vascular, and neurological systems of the upper limbs, generating motor control problems that make it difficult to maintain control over the harvesting instrument after a certain period of time. The aim of this study is to propose a spring-based attachable anti-vibration handle that can be attached to the vibrating equipment (blueberry hand harvester). Four different parameters were measured on 15 participants for the developed spring-based handles: hand arm vibration, wrist posture, muscle activity, and subjective discomfort rating. One-way ANOVA and two-way repeated measures ANOVA analyses were performed on the results obtained for these four parameters. Results have shown that the use of a spring-based handles was superior in reducing the HAV by 61.1% and in improving the wrist posture by 51.1% when compared with traditional hand shaker. Thus, I except that this study will contribute to reduce the pain and work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) risk factors associated with vibrations in the field of blueberry harvesting.