Evaluation of ergonomic risk factors in manual patient handling tasks of Indian nurses

  • Smaranika Goswami
  • Swarup Ghosh
  • Subhashis Sahu
Keywords: Activity analysis, Ergonomics, Posture, REBA, WMSD.


Contrary to nurses in developed countries who have access to technical aids during manual patient handling, nurses in India and other developing countries frequently experience awkward postures during work. These may cause work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). The present study investigates the prevalence of
WMSDs among nurses in West Bengal, India, evaluates the postural stresses and analyses manual patient handling risks. Responses were collected from 220 nurses by validated questionnaires. The activity and posture analyses were done through photography and by Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA). Results showed that
89.5% were troubled by WMSDs. The most affected body parts were legs (72.5%), lower back (67.5%), neck (57.5%), knee and ankle (52.5% each) and shoulder (35.5%). Posture analyses using REBA indicated that most of the postures were unsafe. In particular, patient transfer was considered a very high-risk with action level 4. Workrelated factors and MSDs were interrelated and stressful awkward postures were the main causative factor which demanded immediate ergonomic interventions to improve their health status through redesigning of the work-rest cycle.

Key Words: Activity analysis; Ergonomics; Posture; REBA; WMSD.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 1010-2728