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The assessment of musculoskeletal injury risks among steel manufacturing workers.

Ning X; Della-Giustina D; Hu B
Iron & Steel Technology 2014 Oct; :66-70
Work tasks involved in steel manufacturing often require strength, endurance and precision, and can expose workers to a number of recognized musculoskeletal injury risks. Previously, a high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including lower back pain (LBP), neck pain, shoulder pain, hand/wrist dysfunctions, etc., was reported among workers in the steelmaking industry around the world (Daniel et al., 1980; Masset and Malchaire, 1994; Habibi et al., 2008; Aghilinejad et al., 2012). However, the risk factors and highrisk jobs/tasks that could cause MSDs among steelworkers have not been investigated. Without such knowledge, the design of effective ergonomic intervention becomes impossible and workers in steel mills may continue to suffer from MSDs. Results of this study showed that in a steel manufacturing plant, when performing the metal-cutting task, improper selection of cutting tools may increase the required hand force and consequently elevate upper extremity and lower back injury risks. In addition, the current study confirmed that the buildup of grease on tool handles increases the risks of MSDs among neck, lower back, and hand and arm regions during task performance, especially when exerting hand force in an upward direction. The current study demonstrated a quantitative approach to assess MSD risks involved in specific tasks performed by steel manufacturing workers. To gain a full understanding of the health risks associated with steel manufacturing jobs, more comprehensive investigation that adopts similar approaches should be conducted in the future.
Steel industry; Steelworkers; Musculoskeletal system; Musculoskeletal system disorders; MSD; Exposure levels; Risk assessment; Workers; Work capability; Work capacity; Work environment; Back injuries; Back pain; Neck injuries; Hand injuries; Risk factors; Tools; Force
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Journal Article
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Iron & Steel Technology
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West Virginia University
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division