A unique experiment has been set up in certain vineyards in the Gard. To prune the vines, farm workers will test exoskeletons. The Mutualité sociale agricole du Languedoc hopes to relieve the bodies.
In Sauveterre (Gard), Jean-Noël Ferrier, agricultural worker, has his electrical sector in his hand, and on his back, an exoskeleton. He is testing the model made up of fiberglass rods. “It supports the back, it supports the kidneys, and (…) it helps us get up. So as a result, the back forces less”, he explains. This estate is one of the 35 vineyards selected for the experiment.
A test conducted on men and women aged 24 to 65
47 hectares of vines will be pruned until mid-March. For the owner, Stéphan Charrière, the well-being of employees is fundamental. “In my opinion, everyone who carves should have it, it’s essential”, he believes. The test is conducted on men and women aged 24 to 65, on permanent or fixed-term contracts. Fiberglass, spring or elastic, everyone can find the module that suits them. The experience should last three years. “Giving these tests a long time will make it possible, in terms of ergonomics and the health of operators, to gain perspective on the acceptability of these materials”explains Éric Argiolas, occupational risk prevention advisor.