Musculoskeletal Disorders among Informal Sector Workers of Hand-Operated Rebar Bender: A Pilot Study

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Wiwat Sungkhabut
Sunisa Chaiklieng


Background and Objective: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are obvious problems related to occupational hazards. Workers of hand-operated rebar bender certainly work with physical exertion force and repetition, which might be the cause of MSDs. This study, therefore, aimed to investigate the musculoskeletal disorders and work stress among hand-operated rebar benders.

Methods: The pilot study was designed to investigate of MSDs among hand-operated rebar benders in Ban Dan-Kwian, Tanot Subdistrict, Non-Sung District of Nakronrachasima Province. Subjects (n=30) were from a simple random sampling method. Data were collected by interviews with the modified standardized Nordic questionnaire and Karasek’s Job content questionnaire and the observations. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the data.

Results: Most workers were female (66.7%), the minimum and maximum age were 26 years and 74 years, respectively (mean = 51.1±12.1 years). Work experience was minimum 2 years and maximum 12 years. The levels of most workstations were below their elbow height (83.3%). Repetitive tasks were at least 300 kg/day. For the last 12-month period, MSDs were predominantly found in the following three anatomical areas: wrist/hand (90.0%) low back (80.0%) and neck (56.7%). For the last 7-day period, MSDs were mostly as wrist/hand and low back pain (76.7%), following by neck and shoulder pain (50%). Workers reported the work stress level by the latitude of that the workload can cause the stress at the high level (83.3%). The latitudes of that stress caused by work environmental hazard or psychosocial hazard were at the moderate level for 66.7% and 50.0%, respectively. The latitudes of that the physical health hazards and illness affecting the function of work cause the stress at the low level (76.6%).

Conclusions: The findings of wrist/hand, low back and neck disorders among informal workers of hand-operated rebar bender are very useful for the surveillance program of occupational diseases and further investigations of work related risk factors to MSDs.

Keywords: Musculoskeletal disorders, stress, hand-operated rebar bender


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Sungkhabut W, Chaiklieng S. Musculoskeletal Disorders among Informal Sector Workers of Hand-Operated Rebar Bender: A Pilot Study. SRIMEDJ [Internet]. 2013 Oct. 30 [cited 2022 Nov. 30];26(3):225-32. Available from:
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