Prevalence and risk factors of musculoskeletal disorders among Sri Lankan rubber tappers.
BACKGROUND: Rubber tapping exposes workers to risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). OBJECTIVES: This cross-sectional study assessed the prevalence and factors associated with MSDs among Sri Lankan rubber tappers. METHODS: Questionnaires were administered to 300 rubber tappers to measure MSDs and potential associated factors. Ergonomic exposure levels were measured for 90 tappers using the Quick Exposure Check instrument. MSD prevalence and prevalence ratios were calculated using log-binomial regression. RESULTS: In the past 12 months, 66% of rubber tappers in our sample experienced an MSD. Ergonomic exposure levels were high or very high in the back (94.4%), shoulders (96.7%), and neck (83.3%). Being female, older, Tamil, working two jobs, alternating tapping hands, and depression were significantly associated with increased risk of MSDs. CONCLUSIONS: MSDs are common among rubber tappers in Sri Lanka. These results suggest a need for work process modifications to prevent MSDs.
Stankevitz, K; Schoenfisch, A; de Silva, V; Tharindra, H; Stroo, M; Ostbye, T
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