Background & Objective (s) Upper extremities musculoskeletal disorders (UEMSDs) are referred as the most pervasive and significant problem in textile industries worldwide. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess the ergonomic risk factors of UEMSDs by Comprehensive Exposure Index (CEI) in a textile industry.
Materials & Methods 425 accidentally-sampled workers of Ghaemshahre textile industry (North of Iran) were studied in a cross-sectional study. A combined method including: Interviews (to gain workers’ personal characteristics and understand job processes), Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ; to obtain UEMSDs pain symptoms and signs prevalence), Hierarchical Job Analysis (HJA; to analyse jobs before assessment) and Comprehensive Exposure Index (CEI; to assess the ergonomic risk factor of UEMSDs) were used and the gathered data were analysed.
Results Percentage pain symptoms in hand & fingers, wrist, forearm, elbow, arm, and shoulder were 83.61%, 78.28%, 71.39%, 57.09%, 41.22%, and 24.18% respectively. There were significant correlation between prevalence of hand & fingers musculoskeletal disorders with workers’ age, job experience, and stature (p < 0.05). CEI revealed that 11.28% of tasks posed on level 1 (Safe level), 22.61% of tasks posed on level 2 (uncertain level), 47.12% of tasks located on level 3 (slight risk level), and 18.99% of tasks posed on level 4 (significant risk level). There were significant associations between CEI scores and pain symptoms prevalence of hand & fingers and wrists (P < 0.005).
Discussion and Conclusions Most repetitive tasks of textile industry feature ergonomic risk factors that can induce UEMSDs. The CEI model was found to be a sensitive model to assess the ergonomic risk factor causing UEMSDs in textile industries and any changes in exposure before and after ergonomic interventions.
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