Assessment and Preventiion of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Greek Miners

Introduction: On of the most important challenges nowadays is to improve the health of workers globally. Since 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO), through its Regional Office for Europe, has recognized the importance of employee well-being  and of the prevention of health problems in the workplace.  

Aim: The aim of the study was to describe the musculoskeletal profile of miners by recording the possible  deficits and dysfunctions of their musculoskeletal  system. One of its objectives was to create and implement educational material for the prevention and improvement of musculoskeletal diseases.

Materials and method: The sample consisted of 100 Greek miners with an average age of 39 (±8) and 1.6 (±0.5) years of work experience in mine tunnels. The programme included the recording of musculoskeletal disorders and the evaluation of the subjects’ knowledge for the prevention and management of musculoskeletal pain after the implementation of the programmme as well as their subsequent relationship with physical exercise and its benefits. Data collection was done through personal interview and questionnaires.  The corresponding  educational material  was created  in printed  and electronic form, based on the results of the assessment. Training included theoretical and hands-on hourly seminars that lasted 4 months. Upon completion, employees were evaluated by answering questions related to their training material.

Results: The results showed that most of the miners did not maintain the correct position during their work. The pain intensity was significantly dependent on area of body (Chi-Square(1)=12.36, p<0.001) and the scale of “physical-body health» showed higher scores in subjects who did not experience pain (F=4.26, p=0.042). Also following the implementation of the programme the knowledge of the employees regarding the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders  was very good.

Conclusions: According to the above,  the implemented  methodology  was effective and can be applied to other working  populations by adapting the training material accordingly.