Musculoskeletal Problems in Iranian Hand-Woven Shoe-Sole Making Operation and Developing Guidelines for Workstation Design

H Veisi, AR Choobineh, H Ghaem


Background: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are among important health problems in working population. Because of performing difficult physical activities, hand-woven shoe-sole makers are at risk of developing various types of MSDs.

Objective: To determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms in different body areas of hand-woven shoe-sole makers, assess workers′ postures and workstations, evaluate ergonomic and individual factors associated with MSDs, and develop guidelines for designing hand-woven shoe-sole making workstation.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the prevalence of MSDs symptoms and their risk factors were studied among 240 hand-woven shoe-sole makers. Working posture and workstations were ergonomically assessed as well. The data were collected through interviewing and using Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire and by direct observation of posture using RULA method. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine risk factors associated with MSDs symptoms.

Results: The prevalence and severity of MSDs symptoms were high among the study population. Ergonomic factors including daily working time, working posture, and force exertion, as well as individual factors, such as age, job tenure, and education were significantly associated with MSDs symptoms.

Conclusion: It seems that the majority of ergonomics shortcomings originate from poorly designed workstation. Some general guidelines for designing shoe-sole making workstation are presented.


Musculoskeletal diseases; Human engineering; Occupational diseases; Equipment design

doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2016.725

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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