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Identifying lower limb problems and the types of safety footwear worn in the Australian wine industry: a cross-sectional survey


Copper, AW and Scharfbillig, R and Nguyen, TP and Collins, C, Identifying lower limb problems and the types of safety footwear worn in the Australian wine industry: a cross-sectional survey, Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 14 Article 58. ISSN 1757-1146 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

© The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, ( which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made

DOI: doi:10.1186/s13047-021-00495-3


Background:The Australian wine industry is a valuable part of the wider Australian economy worth approximately A$45 billion annually and employs 163,790 people either full time or part time. Australian agricultural industries are amongst the nationís most dangerous workplaces with joint, ligament, muscle and tendon injuries being commonplace along with wounds, lacerations and musculoskeletal diseases. It is therefore important to try and minimise the risk of injuries to workers. The aims of this study were to (1) identify whether lower limb problems occur in the Australian wine industry and (2) identify the types of safety footwear worn.

Methods: Participants were recruited from the Australian wine industry. The study was a cross-sectional anonymous survey of 82 questions with n = 207 respondents. Questions related to job role performed, types of lower limb problems experienced, level of pain, restriction of activities, types of footwear worn, general health and physical health.

Results: The main working roles were winery (73.4%), vineyard (52.2%), laboratory (39.6%), cellar door (32.4%) and office (8.2%), with 63.3% of participants working in more than one role. Lower back pain was the most commonly reported problem at 56% followed by foot pain (36.7%), knee pain (24.6%), leg pain (21.3%), ankle pain (17.9%), hip pain (15.5%), toe pain (13%) and heel pain (11.1%). The most popular footwear used by participants were elastic sided safety boots, followed by high cut lace up safety boots with side zip. Overall, although the pain experienced was moderate, it did not impact the workers ability to perform their duties and the majority self-reported as being in very good general and physical health.

Conclusion: To date no data have been published on the types of lower limb problems or the types of safety footwear worn in the Australian wine industry. This study is the first to demonstrate that elastic sided safety boots were the most popular amongst respondents and that lower limb problems occur with workers. Therefore, further research into the safety footwear used in the Australian wine industry is needed to better support workers health while working in their varied roles and conditions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:safety footwear, elastic sided safety boots, lower limb, occupational health, wine industry
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Biomechanics
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions
UTAS Author:Nguyen, TP (Ms Thuy Nguyen)
ID Code:148025
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2021-11-30
Last Modified:2022-01-14
Downloads:8 View Download Statistics

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