Title: Work posture and risk factors associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders among cashew workers in Eastern India

Authors: Krishna Chaitanya Mallampalli; Debayan Dhar; Swati Pal

Addresses: Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, Guwahati 781 039, Assam, India ' Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, Guwahati 781 039, Assam, India ' Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, Powai, Mumbai 400 076, Maharashtra, India

Abstract: This cross-sectional study investigated the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), ergonomic risk levels, and associated risk factors (personal and work-related) with WMSDs among 290 cashew workers in small-scale cashew processing units of Eastern India. The data were collected through a questionnaire [including Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire (NMQ)] and direct observation of work posture using rapid entire body assessment (REBA) method. Results showed that 70.3% of cashew workers reported WMSDs during the past 12 months, with shoulders (52.4%), lower back (51.4%), and hands/wrists (43.4%) regions being the highest. Work-related factors, including work experience, daily working time, work fatigue, job stress, and personal factors (gender, age, material status, educational level, and type of work), were independently associated with WMSDs. Further, REBA final score (8-10) indicated that cashew workers' postures were at a high-risk level. Finally, it is concluded that WMSDs among cashew workers are a significant problem, which needs ergonomic work improvements.

Keywords: work-related musculoskeletal disorders; WMSDs; rapid entire body assessment; REBA; work posture; cashew workers; cashew processing; small scale industries; cashew industry; India.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2021.115041

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2021 Vol.8 No.1, pp.44 - 63

Received: 17 Aug 2020
Accepted: 27 Nov 2020

Published online: 14 May 2021 *

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