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Identifying lower limb problems and the types of safety footwear worn in the Australian wine industry: a cross-sectional survey


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Copper, AW, Scharfbillig, R, Nguyen, TP ORCID: 0000-0002-0558-8662 and Collins, C 2021 , 'Identifying lower limb problems and the types of safety footwear worn in the Australian wine industry: a cross-sectional survey' , Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, vol. 14 , pp. 1-10 , doi: 10.1186/s13047-021-00495-3.

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Background:The Australian wine industry is a valuable part of the wider Australian economy worth approximatelyA$45 billion annually and employs 163,790 people either full time or part time. Australian agricultural industries areamongst the nation’s most dangerous workplaces with joint, ligament, muscle and tendon injuries beingcommonplace along with wounds, lacerations and musculoskeletal diseases. It is therefore important to try andminimise the risk of injuries to workers. The aims of this study were to (1) identify whether lower limb problemsoccur in the Australian wine industry and (2) identify the types of safety footwear worn.Methods: Participants were recruited from the Australian wine industry. The study was a cross-sectionalanonymous survey of 82 questions with n = 207 respondents. Questions related to job role performed, types oflower limb problems experienced, level of pain, restriction of activities, types of footwear worn, general health andphysical health.Results: The main working roles were winery (73.4%), vineyard (52.2%), laboratory (39.6%), cellar door (32.4%) andoffice (8.2%), with 63.3% of participants working in more than one role. Lower back pain was the most commonlyreported problem at 56% followed by foot pain (36.7%), knee pain (24.6%), leg pain (21.3%), ankle pain (17.9%), hippain (15.5%), toe pain (13%) and heel pain (11.1%). The most popular footwear used by participants were elasticsided safety boots, followed by high cut lace up safety boots with side zip. Overall, although the pain experiencedwas moderate, it did not impact the workers ability to perform their duties and the majority self-reported as beingin very good general and physical health.Conclusion: To date no data have been published on the types of lower limb problems or the types of safetyfootwear worn in the Australian wine industry. This study is the first to demonstrate that elastic sided safety bootswere the most popular amongst respondents and that lower limb problems occur with workers. Therefore, furtherresearch into the safety footwear used in the Australian wine industry is needed to better support workers healthwhile working in their varied roles and conditions.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Copper, AW and Scharfbillig, R and Nguyen, TP and Collins, C
Keywords: safety footwear, elastic sided safety boots, lower limb, occupational health, wine industry
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Foot and Ankle Research
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
ISSN: 1757-1146
DOI / ID Number: 10.1186/s13047-021-00495-3
Copyright Information:

© The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, ( which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made

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