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The electric hand held olive harvesters have a low weight (about 2 kg) and cause the fruit pick up by means of impacts produced by their vibrational tools: for this reason they transmit elevated vibration doses to the operator’s hand arm system during the work. In this paper electric beaters of different manufacturers and different models were considered, to analyse their vibrational behaviour in field, during the olive harvesting campaign in a site located in Northern Italy. One operator did the tests, to avoid the operator’s uncertainty on the obtained results. All the five examined beaters gave high acceleration values (in a range from 10 to 26 ms–2), but the most restricting data were the daily vibration exposures, calculated considering the real working duration time acquired in field, almost ranged between 10 and 18 ms–2. Also the operator posture during the work (with the arms over the shoulders) may set health problems, related to upper limb disorders, other than the already known musculoskeletal, nervous and vascular pathologies.
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