Each raspberry harvester has a belt with approximately six plastic buckets, which are used for placing the raspberries in. Harvester will walk through the row and pick facing the vine. They tend to walk laterally down the row picking form plants that are from two to six feet high. They will fill the six plastic containers and hook them onto the belt when full or onto the string holding up the plants at the end of the row. The full container carries approximately three pounds of raspberries. When the six plastic containers are full they are taken to the end of the row where each worker has a small bench from 28” to 31” high and weighing about seven to nine pounds. Employees will pour and sort the raspberries from the plastic buckets into plastic baskets that fit inside a cardboard box. When three crates are full, they weigh about 12-13 pounds and are carried 35-75 yards to a trailer where they are checked for quality, tagged with a sticker so the picker gets credit for the picked boxes, and stacked by a puncher. Once this is done the employee proceeds to obtain other empty boxes and repeats the process.
Harvester will need to carry the bench, belt and picking containers for 150 yards once per day.
Physical Requirements: Standing and Walking: 100% of the workday is spent on one’s feet, a combination of standing and walking as they harvest. Worker rarely stands in one place except when sorting fruit, placing the sticker tags on his boxes and to get another empty box. Surface is fairly rough and dry (drip irrigation is used) unless it has recently rained.
Lifting & Carrying: The only items lifted or carried are the picking containers, sorting bench and full boxes of raspberries. Full crates would weight about 4 lbs. and no more than 10 lbs. The small sorting table is carried between rows and weighs approximately 7-9 lbs. Picking containers weight no more than 3 lbs. when full. ** Stooping Twisting & Bending (from the waist):** This activity would be intermittent throughout the day as bending is involved while picking from the vines, two feet above the ground and when putting filled plastic containers down. Most of the raspberries are picked in a forward position and employee is in a vertical position, but some slight twisting may occur.
Handling (hand, finger & wrist movement): Grasping occurs throughout the day as employee would constantly handle berries using both hands to pick, sort fruit and carrying. Considerable dexterity is necessary if employee is to maintain a rapid pace during the day. ** Reaching & Stretching: ** Employee would need to reach forward, downward and upward while picking raspberries. Minimal reaching also occurs while sorting the fruit and putting baskets in the crate.
Pushing/Pulling: Not required
Kneeling, crouching: Worker would have the option of kneeling or crouching to pick down low. Squatting is not required.
Environmental Conditions: Harvesting is always conducted outdoors, generally in good weather. Because of the season, the weather is usually warm and dry, but the temperature can be fairly cool in the mornings and rise to fairly high levels at midday (e.g. 50°F in the a.m. and 65° to 75°F in the afternoon).
Hours: Hours vary but generally a full day is from 6-10 hours per day. The raspberry harvest season varies by region.
Tools, Equipment Needed: Worker normally uses no tools other than one belt, one tin can, three plastic containers and the small sorting table upon which the baskets and cartons are placed.
The Crew Leader will lay out the objectives and direction of the raspberry harvester. The harvester will then be responsible to the Crew Leader in reaching those goals and following the policies and procedures of the Company.