Harvesting Facts: The most labor-intensive orchard activity is harvest work.

Major components:

  • Work is either paid hourly or by how much is picked.
  • Ladders may be wood (about 20lbs.) or aluminum (about 10lbs.), moved very frequently and quickly.
  • Climbing, balancing, and reaching. 63% of work day spent with arms overhead.
  • Full bag weighs between 20-40 lbs., carried in front or to one side.
  • Full buckets hand carried down ladder to bins on ground (up to 20 yards away).
  • Buckets very carefully emptied out the bottom. Extreme bending involved to protect apples. Also, rolling large bins in place (weighing up to 200 pounds) can cause leg or back muscle strain (Fulmer et al., 2000).

Common Hazards and Conditions