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Evaluation of Upper Limb Musculoskeletal Loads due to Posture, Repetition, and Force by Rapid Upper Limb Assessment in a Textile Factory

Seyyed Ali Moussavi Najarkola, Ramazan Mirzaei
2012 Health Scope  
This article pays attention to the application of an ergonomic risk factors assessment technique so-called "Rapid Upper Limbs Assessment (RULA)" for evaluation of the upper limb musculoskeletal loads due to posture, repetition and force in textile factory. It introduces a practical topic in ergonomics field that can be useful for ergonomists, occupational hygienists, occupational therapists, industrial designers, physiotherapists, rehabilitation specialists, and anthropologists. Background: In
more » ... ts. Background: In the last 15 or 20 years, upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders have been recognized as a cause of major medical problems among industrial workers. Objectives: The aim of this study was conducted to assess risk factors for upper limb musculoskeletal disorders on workers performing various tasks in a textile factory. Ergonomic interventions and solutions may be developed on the basis of the assessment results. Patients and Methods: Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) was used to evaluate upper limb musculoskeletal loads, and the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) was used to measure the prevalence of upper limb disorders in workers at the Qaem Shahr textile factory. A target population sample included 566 subjects (404 males [71.4%] aged 23-51 years, mean age 32.9 [SD = 6.3 years]; 161 females [28.6%] aged 21-37 years, mean age 25.6 [SD = 8.6 years]). Results: Prevalence data on disorders to the upper arms, lower arms, wrists, neck, trunk, and legs were obtained in 497 (87.8%), 255 (45.1%), 318 (56.2%), 383 (67.7%), 436 (77%), and 163 (28.8%) workers, respectively. Recommended action as a result of the assessment varied according to prevalence and severity of the disorders. Tasks involving spinning, direct wrapping, pirn wrapping, Gard machine operating, yarn combing, weaving, and fold counting were revealed to be the most hazardous. The results of the NMQ confirmed the results of the RULA. Conclusions: Preventive measures at the structural, organizational, and personnel levels must be taken for the safety of industrial workers performing tasks categorized as action levels 2-4 in this study. RULA is a useful and practical tool for evaluation of musculoskeletal disorders resulting from working in a textile factory.
doi:10.5812/jhs.4532 fatcat:b6xck7tvznbp5hm3pak236jfgq