Musculoskeletal disorders among construction apprentices in Hungary

John C. Rosecrance, University of Iowa
J. Porszasz
Thomas M. Cook, University of Iowa
E. Fekecs


The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of occupationally related musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) symptoms and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) among construction apprentices in Hungary. Symptoms of occupational MSDs and the job factors contributing to the symptoms were determined through an administered symptom and job factors survey. The prevalence of CTS was based on a case definition that included hand symptoms and nerve conduction studies of the median nerve across the carpal tunnel. The participation rate was 96% among the 201 eligible construction apprentices. More than 50% of the apprentices reported occupationally related musculoskeletal symptoms in the previous 12 months. Job tasks that required awkward postures and working in a static position were the two factors that contributed most to MSD symptoms. No cases of CTS were found in this sample of apprentices. Although disorders of the musculoskeletal system are more prevalent among experienced construction workers, this study indicated that symptoms of MSDs are present among young construction workers. Assessing the magnitude and nature of occupational related MSDs is the first step in promoting a healthier, safer, and more efficient workforce.