Musculoskeletal disorder symptom prevalence among construction workers
Townsend, Kelsey, author
Rosecrance, John, advisor
Brazile, Bill, committee member
Morris, Kristen, committee member
Introduction: Musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) symptoms among construction workers have direct impact on their work ability and quality of life. Understanding self-reported MSD symptoms and their association with work tasks may assist in the identification of interventions to reduce their occurrence. The purpose of this descriptive study was to assess MSD symptom prevalence and job factors that may be associated with symptoms among a sample of 104 construction workers (plumbers and pipefitters) in the San Jose region of California. Methods: A self-administered survey, which was used with several other cohorts (including within construction trades) by a variety of investigators, was distributed to 104 plumbers and pipefitters at a local union meeting. The survey assessed demographic characteristics, work-related MSD symptom history in the previous 12-months and job factors which may contribute to MSD symptoms. Results: The mean age of the participating workers was 48. The top four body regions reported to have MSD symptoms were the low back, the shoulders, the neck, and the knees. Low back pain was associated with the job factor bending or twisting the back in an awkward way. Shoulder pain was associated with reaching or working overhead or away from the body. Neck pain was associated with working in cramped or awkward positions. Significance: Based on these analyses, a prioritization of resources that focus on the anatomical areas most likely to be injured as well as the job factors that contribute to the MSD symptoms in specific construction work may assist in injury prevention.
Includes bibliographical references.