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Ergonomics - MSD - Articles

Measurement Consistency Among Observational Job Analysis Methods During an Intervention Study
"International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics" 2/2011, p. 139-146

Caroline Joseph, Daniel Imbeau, Iuliana Nastasia

Several observational methods are available for ergonomists to evaluate the exposure to musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) risk factors associated with work. Those methods can be used to evaluate the impact of modifications done at a workstation on the exposure to risk factors. Three methods (QEC, OCRA and 4D Watbak) were used to assess the exposure to MSD risk factors before and after the implementation of changes at a saw and block opening workstation. The results from those 3 methods served to compare the methods and evaluate their consistency. Comparisons among the methods showed positive association between QEC and OCRA indices, and between the QEC back index and 4D Watbak.

Neck-Upper Extremity Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Workers in the Telecommunications Company at Mansoura City
"International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics" 2/2011, p. 195-205

Sohair Fouad El-Bestar, Ashraf Abdel-Moniem El-Mitwalli, Eman Omar Khashaba

Objectives. This study was to determine the prevalence and work-related risk factors of neck–upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among video display terminal (VDT) users. Methods. A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted; there were 60 VDT users and 35 controls. The participants filled in a structured questionnaire, had electrophysiological tests and an X-ray of the neck. Results. The prevalence of MSDs was higher (28.3%) among VDTs users compared to controls (14.3%) with no statistically significant difference. The prevalence of cervical disorders with or without radiculopathy (18.3%) was the most common disorder followed by carpal tunnel syndrome (6.6%). The mean (SD) age of MSD cases (51 ± 7.2 years) was statistically significantly higher than of the controls (42.8 ± 9). Physical exposure to prolonged static posture (OR: 6.9; 95% CI: 0.83–57.9), awkward posture (OR: 5.5; 95% CI: 0.6–46.4) and repetitive movements (OR: 5.5; 95% CI: 0.65–46.4) increased risk of MSDs with a statistically significant difference for static posture only (p < .05). VDT users experienced more job dissatisfaction, work-overload and limited social suport from supervisors and colleagues. Conclusion. VDT use did not increase the risk of neck–upper extremity MSDs. The risk increased with older age and static posture.

Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Injuries Among Factory Workers in Kano Metropolis, Nigeria
"International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics" 1/2011, p. 99-102

Ismaila Adamu Saidu, Victor Adimabua Utti, Adeolu Olugbenga Jaiyesimi, Adamu Ahmad Rufa’

Background. Kano is a metropolis and commercial centre in northern Nigeria; it is highly industrialized. Most of the population does factory work. Purpose. The survey was undertaken to identify the prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) and other related occupational hazards among factory workers in Kano Metropolis. Method. Five hundred questionnaires were distributed to respondents recruited from tannery, steel rolling, textile and agrochemical factories at the 3 industrial estates of the metropolis. Only unskilled and manual labourers were considered. The respondents were selected using the nonprobability sample of convenience. Results. Only 420 questionnaires were returned duly completed. Three hundred and fifty-three (84.05%) respondents were male and 67 (15.95%) were female. Their ages ranged between 21 and 58 years (M = 38.99 ± 1.01). Results. Low back complaints had the highest prevalence (360, 85.71%), followed by upper limb injuries (171, 40.71%), shoulder complaints (156, 37.14%) and hip injuries (34, 8.10%). About 41% of the respondents reported 2 or more work-related MSIs. Conclusion. The study uncovered that a substantial percentage of factory workers had sustained MSIs. Body ache/discomfort in the low back region was the most common injury sustained among the subjects surveyed.

Differences in Lumbar Spine Load Due to Posture and Upper Limb External Load
"International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics" 4/2010, p. 421-430

Joanna Kamińska, Danuta Roman-Liu, Tomasz Zagrajek, Paweł Borkowski

As the lumbar region of the spine is particularly predisposed to musculoskeletal disorders, the aim of this article was to assess lumbar spine load on the basis of an accurate model of this part of the body. The model was developed with the finite element method and the energy criterion for optimising muscle work. Computer calculations confirmed that stresses and compression forces in intervertebral discs increased with an increase in the load force and that they were significantly larger in the bent forwards posture than in the erect posture. This result clearly shows that lifting light objects and the erect posture are important elements in minimising spine load.

Psychosocial and Ergonomic Factors, and Their Relation to Musculoskeletal Complaints in the Swedish Workforce
"International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics" 3/2010, p. 311-321

Kurt Wahlstedt, Dan Norbäck, Gunilla Wieslander, Leni Skoglund, Roma Runeson

A random sample of 1 000 subjects (20–65 years old) from the national population of Sweden received a questionnaire; 70% (n = 695) replied, of whom 532 were occupationally active. Female gender, working with neck and/or body bent forward, arms above shoulders, and precision work tasks were predictors of musculoskeletal symptoms. Neck, shoulder, and upper back symptoms were more common in a strained situation at work (high demands, low control) (adjusted odds ratios [adjOR] 2.76, 2.80, and 2.26, respectively). Among females, neck and shoulder symptoms were more common in an iso-strain situation (high demands, low control and low social support) (adjOR 4.43 and 3.69, respectively), and low back symptoms were more common at low social support combined with a passive work situation (adjOR 3.35). No associations were found between iso-strain model and symptoms among males. In conclusion, iso-strain work situation was associated with neck symptoms among females, even when controlling for ergonomic factors.

The Influence of Occupational and Non-Occupational Factors on the Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Complaints in Users of Portable Computers
"International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics" 3/2010, p. 337-343

Marzena Malińska, Joanna Bugajska

Introduction. Portable computers are becoming an increasingly common main work tool; however, they are not properly adapted to the workstation. Musculoskeletal complaints are a very frequent complaint reported by workers who use computers in their work. Aim. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence and intensity of pain in the musculoskeletal system in workers who regularly use a portable computer in their work and to determine the influence of working conditions and duration of work with a portable computer. Material and methods. The study covered 300 workers. Musculoskeletal complaints were assessed with the Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire complemented with a visual analogue scale. Working conditions was assessed with a questionnaire developed as part of the study. Results and conclusions. The most prevalent faults in the organization of workstations were lack of a computer desk with an adjustable keyboard tray/drawer, no adjustment of chair armrests and no possibility to use an additional keyboard. The most frequent complaints among computer operators were headaches, low-back pain and neck pain. The use of an additional keyboard reduced the intensity of shoulder pain.

Full-Time Homemakers: Workers Who Cannot "Go Home and Relax"
"International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics" 1/2010, p. 113-128

Rima R. Habib, Fadi A. Fathallah, Karen Messing

This paper examined how musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of female homemakers were studied in the literature. It also presented preliminary findings from field observations of housework and fulltime homemakers in urban settings. PubMed, Ergonomics Abstracts, Sociofile, and PsycINFO databases were used in the literature search. The review focused on comparing demands of housework and paid work. Also, exposure factors found in studies of various occupations were compared with the results of field observations of housework in 4 homes in Beirut, Lebanon. Few studies systematically examined associations between MSDs and risk factors in housework. Some well-known risk factors for MSDs were identified in the Beirut homes; however, other unique factors were noted. Housework activities expose homemakers to known risk factors for MSDs, which calls for further studies to identify appropriate intervention and prevention strategies.

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