The association of worksite ergonomic and safety risk factors with work-related musculoskeletal health outcomes among logging machine operators in the Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas region

Anabel Rodriguez, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

One of the most hazardous industrial sectors in the United States (U.S.) is the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (AFF). Within this sector, the logging industry experiences the highest fatality rate with approximately 109.5 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in 2014 (BLS, 2015). The most common type of unintentional occupational injuries or illnesses are medically diagnosed as musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Work-related MSD are not the products of a single hazardous exposure. In the logging industry, MSD have a unique sufficient-component causal model which have at least four different components or exposures: 1) work-related risk factors; 2) extreme environmental factors; 3) personal risk factors; and, 4) other unknown and undetermined occupational factors. Currently, there is a lack of research on incidence and prevalence of MSD and MSS among LMOs in the Southeastern U.S. production regions of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas (Ark-La-Tex). Understanding the gaps in literature can serve as important portals into understanding different risk factors of MSD among LMOs. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis proposal is to fill a research gap with the estimation prevalence of adverse musculoskeletal outcomes among LMOs in the Ark-La-Tex logging region. For this cross-sectional study, the statistical analysis included descriptive statistics (e.g., means, standard deviations, minimum, and maximum values) of subject characteristics and analysis of associations estimated by crude prevalence risk ratio (PRR), adjusted PRR, and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Our study suggests that more than 57% of participants reported as having a work-related MSS in at least one body part (e.g., neck upper and upper back, lower back, lower extremities, and/or lower extremities) in the past 12-months (Table 4). In particular, study findings suggest lower back and lower extremities MSS are associated with the a majority of job-related risk factors, lower extremities with extreme environmental conditions, and neck and upper back with personal risk factors. These results indicate that there is a need for further research concerning workplace interventions of organizational, ergonomic/physical, and equipment handling functions in order to help LMOs improve their overall health, decrease MSS, and increase work productivity.^

Subject Area

Occupational safety|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Rodriguez, Anabel, "The association of worksite ergonomic and safety risk factors with work-related musculoskeletal health outcomes among logging machine operators in the Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas region" (2016). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10182182.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI10182182

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