Musculoskeletal symptoms due to work stress among women in packing activities of pharmaceutical industry: ergonomic interventions

Work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) are a group of painful disorders of muscles, tendons and nerves. Work activities which are frequent and repetitive, or activities with awkward postures cause these disorders which may be painful during work or at rest. Work related musculoskeletal disorders arise from ordinary arm and hand movements such as bending, straightening, gripping, holding, twisting and reaching. These common movements are not particularly harmful in the ordinary activities of daily life, but they are hazardous in work situations of continual repetition with lack of time for recovery between them. Often the worker has no control over timing and speed of work because of external factors like assembly line speed or quota systems due to which stress levels may increase. With higher stress level comes muscle tension causing fatigue and again increased risk for WMSD. The psychosocial health factors like high job stress and high job demands, mental work load and perceived stress may contribute towards developing MSD. A study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms among women workers involved in packing activities of pharmaceutical industry. The sample consisted of 270 women workers randomly selected from nine pharmaceutical industries in Hyderabad. A scale was developed to study the musculoskeletal symptoms in nine anatomical body regions. The musculoskeletal discomforts like pain, stiffness, swelling, spasms and so on experienced by women were explored. The work stress assessment scale developed by Telaprolu N (1998) was used for the present investigation. The scores found among the respondents indicated moderate stress levels in the work. The computed F values revealed significant mean difference between work stress and lower limb symptoms. Administrative interventions like job rotation, job training, and reducing monotony of tasks were suggested for relieving stress and intern reducing work related musculoskeletal symptoms.

Dr. Prasuna, V. and Dr. T. Neeraja
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Int J Inf Res Rev
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