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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 519-524

Musculoskeletal disorders among municipal solid waste workers in India: A cross-sectional risk assessment

1 Department of Research, Institute of Health Systems, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
2 Department of Research, Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Endreddy Manikanta Reddy
The Institute of Health Systems, HACA Bhavan, Hyderabad, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.174270

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Background: Waste management is a necessary activity around the world, but involves a variety of health hazards. In a developing country like India, municipal solid waste is collected manually requiring heavy physical activity. Among all occupational health issues, musculoskeletal problems are common among waste collectors in the form of nonfatal injuries because of the presence of such risk factors (lifting, carrying, pulling, and pushing). We have thus conducted this study to evaluate musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among municipal solid waste (MSW) workers. Methodology: A cross-sectional study using probability proportionate to size sampling, recruited 220 MSW workers from the Chennai Municipal Corporation, India for this study. A pretested validated questionnaire has been used to collect data on demographic and occupational history and information on musculoskeletal pain. Data analysis was performed using R software (3.0.1 version). Results: 70% of the participants reported that they had been troubled with musculoskeletal pain in one or more of the 9 defined body regions during the last 12 months, whereas 91.8% had pain during the last 7 days. Higher prevalence of symptoms in knees, shoulders, and lower back was found to be 84.5%, 74.5%, and 50.9% respectively. Female illiterate workers with lower socioeconomic status were found to have higher odds for MSDs. Similarly, higher body mass index having no physical activity increases the chance of odds having MSDs. Conclusion: The higher percentage of musculoskeletal symptoms among MSW workers could be attributed to the long duration of employment, the low job control, and the nature of their job, which is physically demanding. A workplace of health promotion model integration can minimize the reported high prevalence, and a prospective cohort study could be recommended further.

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