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Prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in union ironworkers.
Forde MS; Punnett L; Wegman DH
J Occup Environ Hyg 2005 Apr; 2(4):203-212
The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) symptoms and doctor-diagnosed musculoskeletal disorders (DDMDs) were estimated among union construction ironworkers by a telephone-administered questionnaire. Of 1996 ironworkers eligible, 1566 were contacted and 981 were interviewed. The prevalence of self-reported MSD symptoms was high for the lower back (56%), wrist/hands/fingers (40%), knees (39%), and shoulders (36%). The most common DDMDs were tendonitis (19%), ruptured disk in the back (18%), bursitis in the shoulder (15%), and carpal tunnel syndrome (12%). Generally, the prevalence of DDMDs and MSD symptoms increased with duration of employment. In age-adjusted logistic regression analyses, those who worked 25 to 35 years were more likely to have tendonitis (odds ratio [OR] 7.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.1-16.6), shoulder bursitis (OR 13.7, 95% CI 3.1-60.4), knee bursitis (OR 5.1, 95% CI 1.0-25.1), and ruptured intervertebral back disk (OR 6.7, 95% CI 2.6-7.5). The effect of prior injury was also consistently high (upper extremities, OR 4.6; lower extremities OR 5.1; lower back, OR 6.0). Among workers without prior injuries, MSD symptoms were more frequent for the lower back in structural ironwork (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.6), and for the upper extremity in concrete reinforcement ironwork (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2-2.9). These findings suggest that some musculoskeletal morbidity in construction ironworkers may be work related and thus preventable.
Construction; Construction-workers; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-materials; Iron-industry; Iron-workers; Iron-working-industry; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Ergonomics; Health-surveys; Questionnaires; Back-injuries; Body-regions; Extremities; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Cumulative-trauma; Carpal-tunnel-syndrome; Repetitive-work; Morbidity-rates; Statistical-analysis; Author Keywords: construction; ironworkers; musculoskeletal disorders
Martin S. Forde, St. George's University, Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, P.O. Box 7, St. George's, Grenada, West Indies
Cooperative Agreement; Construction
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
The Center to Protect Workers' Rights
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division