BMJ Open 2:e001338 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001338
  • Occupational and environmental medicine
    • Research

Musculoskeletal disorders among municipal solid waste collectors in Mansoura, Egypt: a cross-sectional study

  1. Ehab El-Sayed Awad2
  1. 1Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hala Samir Abou-ElWafa; halsam2005{at}
  • Received 2 May 2012
  • Accepted 15 August 2012
  • Published 12 September 2012


Objective To assess the percentage of musculoskeletal complaints and their possible risk factors among municipal solid waste (MSW) collectors.

Design A descriptive cross-sectional study with a comparison group.

Setting Primary level of care, at the Western Municipality of Mansoura City, Egypt.

Participants A total of 160 male MSW collectors fulfilled the eligibility criteria and 120 of them participated in the study (response rate of 75%). The inclusion criteria were permanent or temporary solid waste collectors employed for 1 year or more. A comparison group of 110 male service workers at the Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, comparable to MSW collectors in most of the variables.

Outcome The percentage of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among collectors, their risk factors (socio-demographic, psychosocial, physical), and the independent risk factors for having the disorders.

Results The percentage of musculoskeletal complaints during the past 12 months was higher among MSW collectors (60.8%) than the comparison group (43.6%). Low back was the most frequently affected body region among MSW collectors. The differences in the distribution of musculoskeletal complaints between the two groups were statistically significant for the neck and hip/thigh regions. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the independent risk factors for musculoskeletal symptoms among MSW collectors were the longer duration of employment (OR=0.4, 95% CI=0.1 to 0.9); low decision latitude (OR=0.3, 95% CI=0.1 to 0.7); lifting, pulling; pushing/carrying loads >20 kg (OR=5.5, 95% CI=1.8 to 17.0) and walking for long periods of time (OR=2.6, 95% CI=1.1 to 6.6).

Conclusions Musculoskeletal complaints are highly prevalent among MSW collectors which require engineering, medical and legislative measures. We suggest further research in the interventions that could reduce the high percentage among collectors.

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