About two thirds of the Indian population is involved in agriculture related activities. Indian farms presently produce 250 million tons of cereal, 140 million tons of fruits/vegetables and numerous industrial raw materials every year. The weight of associated biomass is 2-3 times. Most of this load is carried manually besides farm inputs like, seeds, fertilizers. Due to low level of mechanization, many agricultural activities too are performed manually.

Traditionally, voluminous load like fodder, harvested crop, etc. are carried on head and heavy load like grain/vegetables in gunny bags are carried on back. This is one of the dominant contributing factors to health issues such as neck and back pain, numbness, etc.

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To minimize the adverse impact of carrying load on head, an ergonomic intervention ‘Head Load Carrier’ has been developed by Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) under a project funded by Department of Science & Technology through its Science for Equity, Empowerment and Development (SEED) Division under Technological Intervention for Addressing Societal Needs (TIASN) Scheme, to reduce stresses on cervical spine without introducing element of eccentricity during load carrying on human body.

2The head load carrier is developed by creating alternate pathway for load transfer to reduce stresses on cervical spine by transferring partial load from head to shoulders without introducing element of eccentricity. It also facilitates loading on human body without disturbing natural posture thereby minimizing stresses on musculoskeletal system.

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It prevents load-induced degenerative disorders in most fragile and most vulnerable segment of vertebra column i.e. cervical spine as the major load is carried symmetrically on the shoulders and small part of load on the head and hence no detrimental effect is induced in the cervical spine.

In absolute terms, a significant percentage of millions of farm workers can be benefited from this intervention.

This is a device that can be used by lakhs of construction workers, daily wage labourers in markets, transporters within their store areas and many more users. The productivity of labourer would be increased along with quality.

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