Musculoskeletal risk assessment in small furniture manufacturing workshops

Int J Occup Saf Ergon. 2013;19(2):275-84. doi: 10.1080/10803548.2013.11076985.


In Iran, furniture is mainly manufactured in small workshops, where most activities are performed manually. This study was conducted among workers of furniture workshops to determine prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms and to assess ergonomic working conditions to identify major risk factors associated with musculoskeletal symptoms. In this study, 410 randomly selected furniture workers participated. The Nordic questionnaire and an ergonomics checklist consisting of 6 sections were used as data collection tools. An index was calculated for each section of the checklist. Action categories indicating the priority of corrective measures were also defined. The highest prevalence of symptoms was reported in the knees (39%), lower back (35.6%) and wrists/hands (29.5%). It was found that manual material handling, poor workstation design and awkward working postures were associated with the reported symptoms in these regions (OR 1.77-4.52). Poor general working conditions and work organization showed association as well. Any interventional measures should focus on these areas.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Checklist
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ergonomics*
  • Humans
  • Interior Design and Furnishings*
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Posture
  • Prevalence
  • ROC Curve
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires