Melissa Allison follows the world's biggest coffee-shop chain and other Seattle caffeine purveyors.
UW lecturer designing ergonomically sound baskets for Nicaraguan coffee farmers
Posted by Melissa Allison
After spending months with workers in Nicaragua, Kate Stewart decided the country's coffee farmers need new gathering baskets.
The ones they use now are large, shallow baskets held at the waist that "not only puts pressure on the back, but also forces them to reach out further to get the beans -- an ergonomic nightmare," according to an article by Elizabeth Sharpe at the University of Washington, where Stewart teaches graduate courses in ergonomics and safety at the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.
"Stewart hopes to change that situation by working with the harvesters to design a new basket that will allow them to do their jobs without getting hurt. The change will have a significant impact in Nicaragua, where coffee provides agricultural jobs and supports more than 45,000 families who own coffee farms," Sharpe wrote.
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