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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5094509, 9 pages
Research Article

Evaluating Swine Injection Technologies as a Workplace Musculoskeletal Injury Intervention: A Study Protocol

1Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 104 Clinic Place, P.O. Box 23, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 2Z4
2School of Physical Therapy, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Suite 3400, 104 Clinic Place, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 2Z4
3School of Physical and Health Education, Nipissing University, 100 College Drive, Box 5002, North Bay, ON, Canada P1B 8L7
4Prairie Swine Centre Inc., 2105-8th St. East, P.O. Box 21057, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7H 5N9
5Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 103 Hospital Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 0W8

Correspondence should be addressed to Catherine Trask

Received 24 May 2017; Accepted 24 September 2017; Published 29 October 2017

Academic Editor: Tessa Keegel

Copyright © 2017 Catherine Trask et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Intensification of modern swine production has led to many new technologies, including needleless injectors. Although needleless injectors may increase productivity (by reducing injection time) and reduce needlestick injuries, the effect on risk for musculoskeletal disorders is not clear. This project will compare conventional needles with needleless injectors in terms of cost, productivity, injury rates, biomechanical exposures, and worker preference. Muscle activity (EMG) and hand/wrist posture will be measured on swine workers performing injection tasks with both injection methods. Video recordings during the exposure assessments will compare the duration and productivity for each injection method using time-and-motion methods. Injury claim data from up to 60 pig barns will be analyzed for needlestick and musculoskeletal injuries before/after needleless injector adoption. Workers and managers will be asked about what they like and dislike about each method and what helps and hinders successful implementation. The information above will be input into a cost-benefit model to determine the incremental effects of needleless injectors in terms of occupational health, worker preference, and the financial “bottom line” of the farm. Findings will be relevant to the swine industry and are intended to be transferable to other new technologies in animal production.