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Ergonomics. 1991 Jul;34(7):909-18.

Postural load and back pain of workers in the manufacturing of prefabricated concrete elements.

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  • 1Institute of Occupational Health, Medical Faculty, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


In a population of male workers in a concrete manufacturing plant (n = 114), the occurrence of back pain was studied in relation to a control group of maintenance engineers (n = 52). The prevalence of back pain in the 12 months preceding the investigation was 59% among the concrete workers, and 31% among the controls. After excluding persons with existing back pain before starting work in the present factory, a comparison between concrete workers and maintenance engineers showed an aged-adjusted odds ratio for back pain of 2.80 (1.31-6.01). Postural load of workers in both plants were measured using the Ovako Working posture Analysis System. During 4009 observations working postures concerning the back, lower limbs, and lifting activities were recorded. The average time spent working with a bent and/or twisted position of the back was found to contribute to the prevalence of back pain. The results of this study also suggest that exposure to whole-body vibration, due to operating vibrotables, is a second risk factor for back pain.

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