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0072 Lower-extremity musculoskeletal discomfort and fatigue in automotive assembly workers
  1. Jason Sarte1,
  2. Stephanie Barnhart1,
  3. Rebecca Moreland2,
  4. Erin Moshier1,
  5. James Godbold1,
  6. Philip Landrigan1
  1. 1Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA
  2. 2Scientific Advisory Committee, Detroit, Michigan, USA


Objectives To characterise the prevalence of musculoskeletal discomfort and fatigue of the lower extremities (LE) in a large sample of workers in a large, unionised automotive assembly facility. To assess whether floor matting reduced reported prevalence of LE discomfort.

Method Questionnaires were administered to 1353 workers representing 39% of the plant’s workforce. Discomfort of the LE was assessed on a qualitative scale. Participants rated tiredness overall and in the legs at the end of their shifts. Information on job designation, use of matting, history of LE or back injury, and use of over the counter pain medication was collected.

Results Highest mean discomfort was reported in the feet (3.04, SD = 1.04) and lowest in the hips (1.50, SD = 1.30). Assembly line or inspection/repair had the highest adjusted mean for discomfort for each body area. Gender- and age-adjusted fatigue ratings overall and in the legs differed significantly based on job designation (p < 0.0001). The percent of workers reporting matting, fall-related injuries and use of over the counter medication differed significantly by job designation (p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001, and p = 0.0447, respectively). Among inspection/repair employees, there was no significant difference in mean discomfort and fatigue ratings between those who used matting and those who did not.

Conclusions There is a high prevalence of self-reported musculoskeletal discomfort and fatigue among automotive assembly workers. The difference in reported discomfort and fatigue levels by job designation warrants investigation into factors such as time spent standing and posture during work. Matting did not appear to reduce prevalence of LE discomfort.

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