A questionnaire ('Dutch Musculoskeletal Questionnaire', DMQ) for the analysis of musculoskeletal workload and associated potential hazardous working conditions as well as musculoskeletal symptoms in worker populations is described and its qualities are explored using a database of 1575 workers in various occupations who completed the questionnaire. The 63 questions on musculoskeletal workload and associated potentially hazardous working conditions can be categorized into seven indices (force, dynamic and static load, repetitive load, climatic factors, vibration and ergonomic environmental factors). Together with four separate questions on standing, sitting, walking and uncomfortable postures, the indices constitute a brief overview of the main findings on musculoskeletal workload and associated potentially hazardous working conditions. Homogeneity of the indices is satisfactory. The divergent validity of the indices is fair when compared with an index of psychosocial working conditions and discomfort during exposure to physical loads. Worker groups with contrasting musculoskeletal loads can be differentiated on the basis of the indices and other factors. With respect to the concurrent validity, it appears that most indices and factors show significant associations with low back and/or neck-shoulder symptoms. This questionnaire can be used as a simple and quick inventory for occupational health services to identify worker groups in which a more thorough ergonomic analysis is indicated.