Large scale retail industry and catering industry are characterized by the widespread presence of several risk factors of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD): repetitive movements, incongruous postures and manual handling tasks. We reviewed current epidemiological evidence related to musculoskeletal disorders within these two sectors, distinguishing between symptoms and clinically documented disorders. In retail industry cashier is the most investigated figure, regarding upper limbs disorders as a consequence of repetitive tasks. In the catering sector there are few studies, mostly focused only on the job as a cook. The majority of studies showed a high prevalence of WMSD and, to a lesser extent, a high frequency of musculoskeletal alterations; suggesting the presence of a not negligible risk. These findings, however, are affected by a number of methodological limitations: they derive from cross-sectional studies, are based on voluntary self-selected workers, are focused on not unequivocally defined health outcomes, and are usually lacking a proper comparison with the prevalence in less exposed/reference working groups. In order to achieve an effective control of the workers' risk, it is therefore necessary to design and conduct prospective studies that compare the risk of developing disorders and/or diseases in workers exposed to different levels of biomechanical load. It appears essential to involve occupational physicians in active health surveillance programs in order to identify critical areas and to develop effective preventive measures.
|Translated title of the contribution||Epidemiology of diseases and musculoskeletal disorders in large-scale retail and catering industry|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 1 2014|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health