METHODS: Although cross-sectional field visits were conducted in the current study, insight into past and present occupational safety and health concerns particularly regarding the ergonomics of oil palm plantations was further exploited. Besides discussion, video recordings were extensively used for ergonomics analysis.
RESULTS: The unique commodity of oil palm plantations presents significantly different ergonomics risk factors for fresh fruit bunch (FFB) cutters during different stages of harvesting. Although the ergonomics risk factors remain the same for FFB collectors, the intensity of manual lifting increases significantly with the age of the oil palm trees-weight of FFB.
CONCLUSIONS: There is urgent need to establish surveillance in order to determine the current prevalence of ergonomic injuries. Thereafter, ergonomics interventions that are holistic and comprehensive should be conducted and evaluated for their efficacy using approaches that are integrated, participatory and cost-effective.
ABBREVIATIONS: Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs); National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA); Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
METHODS: A cohort of 611 male Malaysian Army recruits were recruited and followed up at 3 and 6 months. Pain catastrophising, MSD, sociodemographic and work factors were measured using a self-administered questionnaire, and MSI incidence was retrieved from the medical records. Multivariable fixed effects regression was used to model the cumulative incidence of MSD and MSI.
RESULTS: Approximately 12% of the recruits were diagnosed with incident MSI and 80% reported incident MSD. Higher pain catastrophising at baseline was associated with higher 6 month MSD risk (adjusted OR (aOR) 1.6 per 1 SD increase of Pain Catastrophising Scale (PCS) scores; 95% CI 1.2 to 2.0), and longitudinally associated with MSD incidence (aOR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.4). Pain catastrophising was not associated with MSI incidence (aOR 1.0, 95% CI 0.8 to 1.3). The association between pain catastrophising and self-reported MSD was stronger among recruits with self-reported past injury (p for interaction <0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Pain catastrophising was able to predict symptomatic MSD, and not physician-diagnosed MSI, and these findings are directly related to individual health beliefs. Pain catastrophising has a greater influence on how military recruits perceived their musculoskeletal conditions during training, and efforts to reduce pain catastrophising may be beneficial.