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A cross-sectional study on the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the employees of pharmaceutical industry

Hardik R Shah, Parul Bhatt, Binal D Vaghani, Jayul Vaghani.

Background: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMDs) are a group of painful disorders of muscles, tendons, and nerves. Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, and tension neck syndrome are examples. Fascination with technology, overly ambitious business expectation, and neglected human factor risks can have serious effects on manufacturers, suppliers, and service enterprises. As India is one of the largest and growing hubs in the world of manufacture industry, there is a great need to identify such problem. In this study, we identified such problems and discussed it.

Objectives: The aim of this study is to gather data to identify jobs or work conditions that are most problematic, using sources such as injury and illness logs, medical records, and job analyses.

Materials and Methods: Data collection was done by personal interview, history and physical examinations, specific symptoms questionnaire, and rapid upper limb assessment (RULA) survey for WRMDs.

Results: In our study, we found that prevalence of neck pain was highest followed by back pain in general. Most participants had complained that pain only aggravated when they continue work without taking rest. On examination, the presence of cervical spine tenderness was highest, followed by hand joints and lumbar spine tenderness. In admin and skilled participants, RULA score was up to 4 (satisfactory and modification required), but in unskilled participants, RULA was up to 7 (not satisfactory and immediate changes may require).

Conclusion: Work activities which are frequent and repetitive or activities with awkward postures cause these disorders which may be painful during work or at rest. Most WRMD affects the hands, wrists, elbows, neck, and shoulders.

Key words: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders; Rapid Upper Limb Assessment Score; Employees; Pharmaceutical Industry

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