Proper Seating and Positioning for Tractor Operators Affected by Spinal Cord InjuriesBy Agrability Quarterly,
Article discusses proper seating and positioning systems used to reduce the risk of secondary injury, and to increase the ability to operate a tractor effectively. Tasks such as fieldwork, livestock feeding, and operations oversight are often carried out while the farmer is sitting in the tractor seat, sometimes for hours at a time. Rough terrain, equipment vibration, long periods of sitting, upper body twisting, and improper choice of seat and positioning can contribute to pressure ulcers, back pain, and increased spasticity. Tractors equipped with heat, air conditioning, a cell phone or FM radio communication system, and an independent suspension seat are essential for an operator with a spinal cord injury (SCI). The operator’s correct positioning in the tractor seat is critical in maximizing his/her ability to control the tractor and prevent pressure ulcers. Postural alignment and pressure management must be considered when modifying or adjusting existing tractor seats for operators with SCI. Flotation cushions such as the Roho cushion have individual air cells to allow for circulation, though they do reduce seating stability. Additional support may be required to maintain stability. Combination cushions, such as the Jay cushion are made of a combination of either foam and an air-holding membrane or foam and a viscous fluid.
Assistive Products Discussed: ROHO AIRLITE CUSHION
University of Wisconsin - Madison (Web Site: http://www.wisc.edu )
Link to text: http://www.agrabilityproject.org/assistivetech/tips/tractorseat.cfm