Hélice 2

An ergonomic tool intervention fighting for a transition into decent work conditions for manual laborers

This project started in 2018 as an ergonomic tool intervention aimed at reducing the risk of contracting CKDnt among the most affected manual laborers in the tropical sugar sector. They turned out to be the hardest working and a gateway to a complex geopolitical situation existing around the world. Combined with the efforts of LIN, an international network of experts in fields from sports medicine and work safety to epidemiology and musculoskeletal ergonomics, it addresses multiple issues in simple ways.

The manual labor in the agricultural sector in Central America bears grim scars. Post-colonialism, neo-liberal market capitalism and union prohibitions are more of a rule than an exception and the underprivileged are being exploited. Putting control over equipment back into the hands of its wielders has become a huge part of the implementation program.

After 2 years of product development and user testing in Nicaragua with outstanding partners in the sugar sector, I’m proud to present the updated Hélice. This is the next step of the launch of a sugarcane harvest machete with unique ergonomic features.

Local means of handle production using existing value chains have been established and will start supplying workers with superior tools to competitive prices by the start of the next harvest.

Hélice is Spanish for propeller, and a fitting image compared to the ferociousness with which the harvesters wield their machetes on the burnt cane fields.

Project info
Olov Eriksson