Physical Stress and Disorders of the Hand-Arm System at Construction Workers

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Bernd Hartmann

Abstract: Occupational medical preventive health examinations of the upper extremities of workers in the construction industry should represent findings and their relationship to occupations and physical stress. The age-, load-and job-related evaluation of results is a cross-sectional study from screening tests to 103.913 (1991-1999) and 108.963 (1994-2003) predominantly male employees.Occupational physicians determine abnormal medical findings at the shoulder joints in men 2.6% / 1.6% in women, elbow joints 1.5% / 1.0% and wrists 0.8% / 0.7% as well as the finger joints 1,2% / 0.6%. All findings steady increase in age. At the shoulders are scaffolders, glaziers / window installers and carpenters with 3.5, 2.9 and 2.5% on the highest level. At the elbows stove builder, pavers and plasterer (2.1, 2.1 and 2.0%) have highest rates of findings. Both regions show dominance at the right site over left. Findings in wrists are most common in concrete block manufacturers, crane operators and glaziers (2.9% / 1.5% / 1.3%). Shoulder joint disorders are the most common problem and highly specific to age. There is evidence for the influence of occupational stress on the elbow joints. Forced postures and vibration loads are the most common causes. Also repetitive strain must be considered as risk factor.

Keywords: upper extremities, physical work load, epidemiology, laterality

DOI: 10.54941/10033

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