Department of Public Health Sciences

A cross-sectional study of musculoskeletal symptoms and risk factors in semiconductor workers

Pocekay, D., S. A. McCurdy, S. J. Samuels, S. K. Hammond and M. B. Schenker

Am J Ind Med. 1995. 28(6):861-871.

As part of the cross-sectional component of the Semiconductor Health Study, we assessed prevalence of specific musculoskeletal symptoms and their association with possible ergonomic risk factors. A total of 3,175 persons (78% participation rate) from eight manufacturing sites across the U.S. completed a health and work questionnaire. Using logistic regression methods to adjust for nonoccupational factors, we compared musculoskeletal symptom (self report) prevalence among fabrication room (fab) and nonfab workers, among specific work process groups, and among workers exposed to selected ergonomic stressors. Overall, seven of 12 musculoskeletal outcomes were significantly more prevalent among fab workers. Distal upper-extremity symptoms were more common among fab than nonfab workers [relative risk (RR) = 1.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.26-1.63] and showed a dose-response effect with hours per day spent in the fab; increased risk was associated with frequency of lifting and with use of vacuum wands and projection aligners. Female sex and high somatization index score were associated with increased reporting for all musculoskeletal outcomes.

Keywords: Adult, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Human, Male, Musculoskeletal Diseases/*epidemiology/etiology, Occupational Diseases/*epidemiology/etiology, Risk Factors, *Semiconductors, Stress, Psychological, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.



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