Fysieke belasting bij fusthandling in de bloembol- & bolbloemsector : rapportage van fase 1

P.F.M.M. Roelofs, A.H.M.C. Baltissen, A.A.J. Looije, A.J. Snoek, J. Wildschut

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


An inventory has been made of manual lifting situations in the cultivation and forcing of flower bulbs and bulb flowers. Originally this was the first part of a study with two objectives: (1) reduction of physical load of workers in flower bulb cultivation, due to manual handling of crates, and (2) uniformization of crates in bulb cultivation and bulb forcing. Meanwhile, a new study on uniformization of these crates has started (AKK-project `focus on crates for (flower)bulbs¿). Therefore the original study was stopped after the inventory and two new studies were started: `Information supply for reduction of physical load during handling of crates in bulb flower production¿ and `Fitting Arbo-expertise in the AKK-project `focus on crates for (flower)bulbs¿¿.First, an overview has been made of the most important situations in bulb cultivation and bulb flower production where crates are lifted or moved. Then, ten bulb flower or flower bulb producers and three mechanization companies were interviewed. Information is collected at the production companies concerning the physical load, due to manual handling of the crates and concerning motives for or against mechanization. Based on the collected data Lifting Indices (a standard for physical load because of lifting) were calculated. In all visited companies several types of crates were used. In eight companies at least one type of palletboxes was used. Beside these, most companies use several 60x40cm and 50x75cm crates. Most companies use several types of these crates with different heights.It is concluded that in bulb cultivation most crate handling situations are mechanized, since generally very heavy (1x1.2x1m) palletboxes are used. Particularly in small companies and in some minor crops manual lifting occurs. In these cases, health standards are always exceeded. However, it must be noticed that this work occurs only during a limited part of the year.In bulb flower production more manual lifting occurs, especially when flowers are produced in pot soil. During planting, lifting indices (LI) between 2.8 and 3.3 (about three times the permitted weight) were found. Moving crates in and out the greenhouse is often mechanized, but during manual moving the LI was between 4.5 and 6.5. During manual emptying of crates, filled with soil, LI was between 4.4 and 6.7. When flowers are forced in water, the weights are much lower and LI was between 1 and 2.According to the visited mechanization companies it is almost always possible to adapt stackers and de-stackers so that they can handle several types of crates. This applies to other processes as well, such as emptying, filling and cleaning the crates. The most important bottleneck for mechanization is a financial one, since mechanization not always results in labour saving sufficient to cover the investment costs.
Original languageDutch
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherAgrotechnology & Food Sciences Group
Number of pages57
ISBN (Print)9789085850199
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Publication series

NameRapport / Agrotechnology & Food Innovations
PublisherAgrotechnology & Food Sciences Group


  • ornamental bulbs
  • cultivation
  • working conditions
  • lifting
  • crates
  • labour
  • physical pressure

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