Title: Ergonomic risk factors associated with work-related musculoskeletal symptoms among welding and metal fabrication workers: a systematic review

Authors: Elvis Chiboyiwa; France Ncube; Patience N. Erick

Addresses: Department of Environmental Science, Bindura University of Science Education, Private Bag 1020, Bindura, Zimbabwe ' Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Lupane State University, P.O. Box 170, Lupane, Zimbabwe ' Department of Environmental Health, University of Botswana, Private Bag 00712, Gaborone, Botswana

Abstract: This study reviewed literature on ergonomic risks for work-related musculoskeletal symptoms (WRMS) among welding and metal fabrication workers. The preferred reporting item for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were used to screen the articles. A pre-designed criterion was used for evidence synthesis. Twenty articles met the inclusion criteria. Most studies were cross-sectional, used small sample sizes, and lacked statistical rigour. Prolonged working hours using awkward posture were consistently reported to contribute to the development of WRMS. The prevalence rate of WRMS among workers in the reviewed studies ranged between 60% and 85%. Only 6 out of 20 studies assessed the severity of the reported WRMS. Studies did not implement interventions to reduce the risk, prevalence rate and severity of WRMS. There is need for improved study designs that implement and evaluate interventions to reduce the risk, prevalence and severity of WRMS among welding and metal fabrication workers.

Keywords: awkward working posture; ergonomic risks; welding; work-related musculoskeletal symptoms; WRMS.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2020.112503

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2020 Vol.7 No.4, pp.359 - 382

Received: 09 Dec 2019
Accepted: 16 Jul 2020

Published online: 05 Jan 2021 *

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