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After-shift Musculoskeletal Disorder Symptoms in Female Workers and Work-related Factors: A Cross-sectional Study in a Seafood Processing Factory in Vietnam

1 Department of Occupational Health and Safety, Hanoi School of Public Health, Hanoi, Vietnam
2 National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health, Vietnam
3 Centre for Environment and Population Health, Griffith University, Australia

Special Issues: Scientific evidence for better health and health care in Vietnam

The seafood processing industry has been developing and providing marked contribution to Vietnam’s economic growth in recent years. However, information on working conditions and their impacts to workers’ health in this sector, focusing on musculoskeletal problems in female workers, has been poorly documented.Objectives:This paper examines the prevalence of after-shift musculoskeletal disorder symptoms (A-MSDS) and work-related factors in female workers in a seafood processing factory in Vietnam.Materials and Methods:As part of a comprehensive study, a cross-sectional survey was implemented in one seafood processing factory in the center of Vietnam in 2014. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 394 female workers to collect information about their A-MSDS state, demographic characteristics, health status and work conditions. Descriptive analysis and logistic regression were applied to describe and analyse the results.Results:Nearly four-fifths of female workers experienced MSDs in at least one body part (77.7%) and 20.1% of them had MSDs in all investigated regions. The prevalence of A-MSDS in different body parts markedly varied, with the proportion of pain in the hips and lower extremities being as high as 53.3%, followed by pain in the shoulders and upper extremities (42.6%)and the neck (41.1%). A humid working environment, exposure to vibration and chemicals as well as taxing task demands and work organizations were found to significantly contribute to the increased risk of after-shift musculoskeletal disorders in female workers.Conclusion:Approximately 80% of female workers in the seafood processing factory experienced musculoskeletal pains after work, especially in the hips, extremities, neck and shoulders which were contributed by work conditions and task demands.
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