Department of Occupational Health, School of Health AND Kurdistan Environmental Health Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran
Qorveh Public Health Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Qorveh, Iran
The most frequent and expensive cause category of compensable loss is manual material handling (MMH). Casting workers who handle oxygen (O2) cylinders manually are at risk for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). The aim of this study was to assess manual handling of O2 cylinders by casting workers and to implement ergonomic intervention to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). This interventional study was conducted on 30 male workers of casting unit in a steel industry. Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire was used to determine the prevalence of MSDs in workers. Snook tables and its software were used to assess manual handling risk of O2 cylinders. Manual handling of O2 cylinders was totally excluded using the box with 16 cylinders that can be moved by crane. The most common MSDs in 1 year prior to the study were low back pain (43%), shoulders (33%), and hand/wrist and knee disorders (16%), respectively. The Snook tables’ results indicated that 86% of lifting/lowering, 100% of carrying, and 50% of pulling tasks were appropriate for <10% of casting workers. About 94% of O2 cylinders pushing were appropriate for 17% casting workers. With the implementation of ergonomic intervention, the risk of WMSDs and explosion of cylinders was decreased, and safety of workers was improved.