IC Value
About Us
Editorial Board
Contact Us

Impact of musculoskeletal disorders and social determinants on health in construction workers

Authors:Sameer Valsangkar, K. Surendranath Sai
Int J Biol Med Res. 2012; 3(2): 1727 – 1730  |  PDF File


Abstract Background: Musculoskeletal disorders are common sequelae in construction workers due to the ergonomic hazards they face at work and have a significant impact on health. The health impact is aggravated by associated conditions such as socio-economic status, migrant status, detrimental job characteristics and poor housing and environmental conditions. Objectives: 1) To evaluate the socio-demographic characteristics, job characteristics of the construction workers 2) To assess the impact of musculoskeletal disorders on well being (general, physical, mental health and activity limitation 3) To evaluate the social determinants which play a role affecting these components of health. Material and methods: A semi structured questionnaire was used to obtain information from construction workers via a face to face interview divided into the following parts, namely 1) Socio-demographic characteristics 2) Evaluation of general, physical, mental health, activity limitation and the duration of work days affected through the Healthy Days Module 3) Evaluation of social determinants of health. Results: A total of 132 construction workers consented to participate and were sampled in the study. 26 (20%) of the workers reported at least one episode of musculoskeletal disorder and 35 (27%) reported morbidity on the healthy days module in the previous month. The mean days affected in the MSD group were 8.65 ± 1.44, 3.73 ± 1.75, 2.35 ± 0.68 and 5.33 ± 2.35, 3 ± 1.32, 2.33 ± 0.5 in the non MSD group. The commonest health problems included back or neck problems followed by arthritis. Logistic regression analysis showed a positive correlation with the outcome of ill health and the social variables examined with a Nagelkere R2 value of 0.7 and the largest variation in means on the domains of job security, availability of safe food and drinking water and community support. Conclusion: There is a significant quantitative impact of musculoskeletal disorders on general well being, the physical and mental dimensions of health in addition to causing activity limitation. Proper pre-placement training, ergonomic measures along with provision of job security, availability of safe food and drinking water and community support can lead to optimal health, functioning and fewer work days lost in this high risk group.