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Original Research

Risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders among medical laboratories professionals

Parul Raj Agrawal, Veena Kamath, Arun G Maiya, Asha Kamath.


Background: Laboratory health-care workers, including pathologist, microbiologists, and technicians, are exposed to number of risk factors in the workplace for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). However, the individual impact of these risk factors on laboratory professionals among Indian laboratory professionals is unknown.

Objective: The aim of our study was to know the risk factors and its individual contribution for work-related MSD (WMSD) among laboratory professionals.

Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study done on medical laboratory professionals in Udupi district of Karnataka state. Risk factors were categorized into personal and workstation which was identified using a validated questionnaire. It included questions regarding demographic data, occupational history, and question-related to various workstations including general, standing, computer, pipetting, microscope, and microtome workstations. Univariate logistic regression analysis was used to study the risk factors for WMSD. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to study the independent risk.

Results: A total of 250 subjects participated in the study. Female paramedical staff in younger age was found to be at higher risk. Among various workstations, computer workstation and pipetting workstation were found to be the most important contributory factors in WMSD with people having 2.5 and 1.4 times higher risk of WMSD compared to people at no risk.

Conclusion: Laboratory professionals are strongly encouraged to adopt preventive measures toward personal and workstation-related risk factors before symptoms develop.

Key words: Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders; Occupational; Health Risk; Cumulative Trauma; Laboratory Professional

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