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Risk factors for frequent work-related burn and cut injuries and low back pain among commercial kitchen workers in Japan.

Ind Health. 2013;51(3):297-306

Authors: Tomita S, Muto T, Matsuzuki H, Haruyama Y, Ito A, Muto S, Haratani T, Seo A, Ayabe M, Katamoto S

This study investigated risk factors for frequent work-related burn and cut injuries and low back pain (LBP) among kitchen workers including personal, work-related and environmental factors. Subjects were 991 kitchen workers in 103 schools, 17 hospitals and nursing homes, and 6 restaurants in central Japan. A cross-sectional survey was carried out using a structured self-administered questionnaire. Logistic regression models were used to examine associations between frequent injuries/LBP and risk factors. The effective response rate was 75.1% (n=744), the mean age was 40.7 (SD 11.7) and 77.2% were female. Burn injury was associated with a smaller kitchen (OR 1.94; 95%CI, 1.13-3.33), and gas kitchens rather than electric kitchens (OR 2.30; 95%CI, 1.17-4.52). LBP was associated with female gender (OR 2.46; 95%CI, 1.37-4.43), high body height (>160 cm) (OR 2.03; 95%CI, 1.22-3.36), and large number of meals produced per person (≥ 150 meals) (OR 1.83; 95%CI, 1.12-3.00). The results of this study suggest that securing adequate work space and introducing electric kitchen systems may reduce the risk to kitchen workers, as well as the importance of adequate height of cooking equipment and selecting an appropriate volume of meals to produce per person to prevent LBP in kitchen workers.

PMID: 23385436 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Risk factors for musculoskeletal pain amongst nurses in Estonia: a cross-sectional study.

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2013;14:334

Authors: Freimann T, Coggon D, Merisalu E, Animägi L, Pääsuke M

BACKGROUND: Routine statistics indicate a high frequency of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in Estonia. We aimed to describe the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain (MSP) amongst Estonian nurses, and to explore associations with personal characteristics and occupational risk factors.
METHODS: As a part of an international investigation (the Cultural and Psychosocial Influences on Disability (CUPID) study), a cross-sectional survey was carried out amongst registered nurses at Tartu University Hospital, focusing on pain at six anatomical sites (low back, neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand and knee) lasting for more than a day during the past year and past month. Associations with regional and multi-site (≥2 anatomical sites) pain were analysed by logistic regression.
RESULTS: Analysis was based on 221 female nurses (response rate 57%). The overall prevalence of MSP was 84% in the past year and 69% in the past month. The prevalence of multi-site pain was 60% in the past year and 40% in the past month. Low back, neck and knee were the sites most commonly painful. Pain in the past year tended to be more frequent at older ages, and with higher emotional exhaustion, and at most sites, with poor self-rated health, and reported distress from somatic symptoms. Multi-site pain was also significantly associated with older age and tendency to somatise.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of MSP among Estonian nurses is high. Psychological risk factors such as somatising tendency have an important impact. However, none of the risk factors examined seems likely to explain the high frequency of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in Estonia.

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