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Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2011 Sep;15(3):127-32. doi: 10.4103/0019-5278.93203.

A comparative ergonomic study of work-related upper extremity musculo skeletal disorder among the unskilled and skilled surgical blacksmiths in West Bengal, India.

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Department of Physiology, Manipal College of Medical Science, Pokhara, Nepal, India.



The main aim of the study was to determine the nature and extent of work-related upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and physiological stress among the blacksmiths involved in surgical instrument industry.


In the present investigation, 50 male blacksmiths of each skilled and unskilled groups of the forging section had been selected. For the symptom survey, a questionnaire on discomfort symptoms was performed. Repetitiveness of work and hand grip strength of both the groups were measured.


It was revealed that upper limb MSD was a major problem among both group of blacksmith, primarily involving the hand, wrist, fingers, and shoulder. From this study it was found that 66% (33) skilled and 80% (40) unskilled blacksmith workers are feeling discomfort. The most commonly affected regions among the skilled and unskilled blacksmith workers were lower back (skilled 65% and unskilled 80%), neck (skilled 60% and unskilled 80%), and hand (skilled 50% and unskilled).


Blacksmith; hand grip strength; musculoskeletal disorder; visual analogue scale

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