Prevalence of WMSD in the sewing sector of two companies of the footwear industry

By Afonso, L.; Pinho, M.E.; Arezes, P.M.

Occupational Safety and Hygiene II - Selected Extended and Revised Contributions from the International Symposium Occupational Safety and Hygiene, SHO 2014



The few available studies indicate a high prevalence of WMSD in footwear industry, particularly in the sewing sector. Since there is a lack of studies on this issue, especially in Portugal, this paper aims to investigate the prevalence of WMSD among workers of the sewing sector in two companies of the footwear industry. Observations in the workplace were carried out and, further, a questionnaire survey was performed. The results show that wrists / hands (42%), neck (32%), lower-back (30%) and shoulders (23%) were the most affected body zones by musculoskeletal symptoms, although neck and back have been the only to show statistically significant differences between both companies. The study has contributed to the awareness of the prevalence of WMSD in the sewing sector of the footwear industry and point out to the need of more studies focusing either on the prevalence of symptoms or on risk factors for WMSD in this sector.


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