Ergonomics done right.®
October 26th, 2011

No Comfort Zone at the Apple Orchard

by Kevin Perdeaux, CPE

Just when I thought an evening at the local apple orchard would remove me from manufacturing environments and ergonomic Kevin Perdeauxchallenges, I was quickly reminded that ergonomics is everywhere! Commonly, apple orchards will place large crates among the tree lanes and fill them with excess apples to ‘ease’ the strains of picking off tall branches. What a great idea I thought, until I went to pick a handful of apples from the crate myself only to notice that the gatherers before me had picked the apples closest to the perimeter of the crate, leaving me the choice of bending over to the bottom of the crate or into the middle where the stack was still high.

I guess it doesn’t matter whether we are on the assembly line or at the apple orchard, it is inherent for humans to avoid working outside our comfort zone. Heck, we even have lazy-susans at the dinner table to minimize reaching. How many of you out there use these at home?

I guess I can’t really complain about my apple orchard experience, as my faulted ergonomic comfort zone was quickly replaced by the comfort of warm cider and farm fresh pumpkin donuts!

Cheers to Autumn and all its beauty.