IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Inherently Safer Design: Diverse Views on Design Criteria for Orchard Sprayers


Farmers in both conventional and organic agriculture use machinery that is often cited in statistics concerning occupational injuries. Based on the principles of risk reduction at source, hazard elimination or exposure risk reduction should be targeted during the design phase. In addition to workers’ health and safety issues, sprayer design can also have impacts on the environment (e.g., spray drift) and on production quality (e.g., poor coverage).

This research project will investigate sprayers and the risks they represent for farmworkers and their environment.
During the first phase of the project, the research team plans to gather knowledge on sprayer design, starting with the compilation and analysis of reference standards, followed by the mapping of spraying systems in North America and Europe and the assessment of fugitive emissions and spray effectiveness, and ending with an analysis of the use of spraying systems (observations and interviews with apple growers).

Discussion workshops will constitute the second phase of the project. The apple growers participating in the project, equipment resellers and other people concerned with the issue will be invited to take part in order to identify the key points of sprayer design to ensure workers’ OHS and the protection of orchards and of the environment. Design principles that can be transferred to other kinds of agricultural sprayers will also be identified.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2023-0024
Status: Ongoing