Work-related musculoskeletal symptoms among sheet metal workers

Am J Ind Med. 1995 Jun;27(6):783-91. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700270603.


We report results of two pilot studies of the relationship between musculoskeletal disorders and work tasks in sheet metal workers. These two studies were undertaken as pilot investigations to determine if symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome or other work-related musculoskeletal symptoms are present in sheet metal workers, and to determine if we could begin to identify the factors in sheet metal work that cause them. In the first study, telephone interviews were conducted with 18 disabled sheet metal workers; the second survey entailed self-administered questionnaires completed by 47 active and retired sheet metal workers. Among the disabled workers, rotator cuff cases reported the greatest percent of time spent hanging duct, an overhead task commonly carried out during field work. Carpal tunnel cases reported more hand tool use than the rotator cuff cases. The questionnaire survey of active and retired workers found the proportion of time spent in a sheet metal shop (contrasted with field work) to be positively associated with hand symptoms; sheet metal workers who spent at least 65% of their time in the shop had an odds ratio of 3.4 for symptomatic hand cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) (p = 0.12). The proportion of time spent hanging duct was positively associated with both neck and shoulder symptoms, with odds ratios of 7.9 (p = 0.08) and 2.7 (p = 0.16), respectively.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Disabled Persons
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • West Virginia / epidemiology