Author(s): Choi WJ, Kang YJ, Kim JY, Han SH
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: The prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms and related factors were investigated by a structured questionnaire among male steel workers at a large steel company in Korea including a number of aged employees and workers with prior acute injuries. METHODS: Of an eligible 2,093 workers, 1,836 responded to the survey. Among 39 job groups, 8 major job groups (1,068 subjects) were selected to evaluate the potential risk factors of musculoskeletal symptoms. RESULTS: The prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms was 19.1\% for the upper extremities, 7.6\% for the back, and 7.7\% for the lower extremities. Regardless of body part, the prevalence was 25.5\%. In logistic regression analysis, among workers of 8 major job groups, those who experienced prior acute injuries were more likely to have musculoskeletal symptoms in the same region as that of the injury (for the upper extremities, odds ratio [OR] 2.19, 95\% confidence interval [CI] 1.51-3.16; for the back, OR 7.35, 95\% CI 4.01-13.48; for the lower extremities, OR 4.20, 95\% CI 2.33-7.57), after adjusting for age, duration of employment, and job contents. CONCLUSIONS: The effect of job contents differed according to the presence of prior acute injury. Among workers with prior injuries, the relationship between job contents and musculoskeletal symptoms was not statistically significant in general. Among workers with no prior injuries, job contents was a significant variable for the musculoskeletal symptoms of the upper extremities and back, after adjusting for age and duration of employment. These findings suggest that prior acute injuries are a potential risk factor for musculoskeletal disorders in the workforce. More detailed and specific strategies for managing musculoskeletal disorders including prevention of musculoskeletal injuries is needed.
This article was published in J Occup Health
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy