Prevalence of hand-arm vibration syndrome among tyre shop workers in Kelantan, Malaysia

Asraf Ahmad Qamruddin, Nik Rosmawati Nik Husain, Mohd Yusof Sidek, Muhd Hafiz Hanafi, Zaidi Mohd Ripin, Nizam Ali
Journal of Occupational Health 2019 July 30

BACKGROUND: Prolonged exposure to hand-arm vibration is associated with a disorder of the vascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal systems of the upper limb known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). Currently, the evidence of HAVS in tropical environments is limited.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and severity of HAVS among tyre shop workers in Kelantan, Malaysia.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study involving 200 tyre shop workers from two districts in Kelantan was performed. Part one data were collected at the field using questionnaire, and hand-arm vibration was measured. Part two involved a set of hand clinical examinations. The workers were divided into high (≥5 m s-2 ) and low/moderate (<5 m s-2 ) exposure group according to their 8-hr time weighted average [A(8)] of vibration exposure. The differences between the two exposure group were then compared.

RESULTS: The prevalence of the vascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal symptoms was 12.5% (95% CI 10.16 to 14.84), 37.0% (95% CI 30.31 to 43.69), and 44.5% (95% CI 37.61 to 51.38) respectively. When divided according to their exposure statuses, there was a significant difference in the prevalence of HAVS for all three components of vascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal (22.68% vs 2.91%, 62.89% vs 12.62% and 50.52% and 38.83%) respectively. All the clinical examinations findings also significantly differed between the two groups with the high exposure group having a higher abnormal result.

CONCLUSION: Exposure to high A(8) of vibration exposure was associated with a higher prevalence of all three component of HAVS. There is a need for better control of vibration exposure in Malaysia.


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