Magnitude of Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders, Ergonomic Risk Practice and their Perceptions among Medical Laboratory Professionals Working in Bahirdar, North West Ethiopia

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Addis Abeba University


Background: Ergonomics is fitting a workplace to the user's needs to increase efficiency and productivity. Advancements in technology, nature of the work, limited awareness, and poor ergonomic workstation collectively exposed medical laboratories to work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). Even though such evidences are available in most part of the world, there is no detailed and latest information in Ethiopia. Thus, this study aimed to assess the magnitude of WMSDs, ergonomic risk practice and their perceptions among medical laboratories of Bahirdar, Ethiopia from Feb1, 2021 to June 30, 2021. Methods: Cross-sectional study design was employed among 238 medical laboratory professionals (MLPs) and Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire was administered in addition to questionnaires about socio-demographic characteristics, pain and discomfort, and ergonomic risk practice, one to one interview, and direct observational checklist. On daily basis data accuracy, clarity, and completeness were checked. Data was entered into EpiData 3.1 then exported and analyzed using SPSS version 25. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the 95% CI (AOR) at a cut off value of p<0.05 for statistically significant tests. Results: A total of 238 MLPs were participated in the study. The magnitude of WMSDs over the past 12 months was 48.7%. The most affected body parts were lower back (20.6%) and wrists (16.4%). The magnitude of WMSDs among Public owned hospitals were highest (56.4%). The number of laboratory staffs who works for >5 days and ≥ 40 hours per week were 129 (54.2%) and 140(58.8%) respectively. 67.6% MLPs never heard about ergonomics. The general mean score of workstations was 2.28. Conclusion: The current findings revealed high magnitude of work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) that strongly need applying preventive action before body symptoms developed. Improving and renovating workplace design and enhancing awareness of MLPs were necessary measures to control ergonomic risk factors.



Ergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders, risk practice