The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among workers in the plastics industry in Salvador, Bahia State, Brazil was estimated. Cases were defined by reported symptoms of pain in the previous 12 months, lasting more than a week or having monthly minimum frequency, which had given rise to restrictions at work or to seeking medical attention, or where respondents had a severity score greater than or equal to 3 (on a numerical scale of 0 to 5). A stratified proportional random sample of 577 workers was studied. The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, considering of all body segments, was 50.1%. The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders was higher among women than among men at distal upper extremities (34.6% and 11.6% respectively) and also in the region of the neck, shoulder or upper part of the back (27.4% and 17.6% respectively). There was no difference between genders for the prevalence of lower back pain (21.2% and 21.4% respectively); 65% of cases in this region had reports of pain in the previous seven days. Due to the importance and prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, it is necessary that their measurement in epidemiological studies be done properly.
Cumulative Trauma Disorders; Musculoskeletal Diseases; Occupational Health