HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Singapore or Virtually from your home or work.

3rd Edition of International

Public Health Conference

March 21-23, 2024 | Singapore

IPHC 2023

Emmanuel Mintah Benyin

Speaker at International Public Health Conference 2023 - Emmanuel Mintah Benyin
University of Ghana, Ghana
Title : Assessment of work-related low back pain disorders among heavy equipment operators at Ghana Ports and Harbours Authourity (GPHA) Tema Port

Abstract:

Introduction:
Among working-class people between the ages of 25 and 49, low back pain (LBP) ranks as the fourth most common cause of disease burden. Acute or chronic forms of low back pain usually results in worker poor job performance and absenteeism due to the prolonged duration needed for full recovery to return to work. The period of absenteeism caused by LBP may vary, but the longer the period, the less likely the chance of returning to work. As previously indicated only a handful of persons with low back pain who have been away from work for at least six months will return to work. LBP is sometimes disregarded since it is not life-threatening although it results in significant disability and health related costs. Also, due to epidemiologic challenges faced in Africa and the lack of accurate data revealing the true state of disease, the problem seems to have been shelved.

Objective: To assess the prevalence and associated factors of work-related low back pain disorders among heavy equipment operators.  

Methods: An analytical cross-sectional study was used to assess the prevalence of low back pain disorders (LBPD) among 189 workers who operate heavy machines in the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA), Tema Port from November 2021 to February 2022. A structured questionnaire was used to elicit information from study participants. Data was analysed with STATA v.16 using multiple logistic regression with statistical significance set at p<0.05 

Results: The prevalence of low back pain disorders among heavy equipment operators at GPHA, Tema was 44.4% (p = 44.4%, 95% CI = 37.2% – 51.8%). Age (aOR = 1.06; 95% CI = 1.00 – 1.12; p = 0.050), working overtime (aOR = 3.68; 95% CI = 1.76 – 7.68; p = 0.001), awkward posture of frequently bending their trunks sideway (aOR = 3.51; 95% CI = 1.39 – 8.84, p = 0.008), and physical activity (aOR = 0.40; 95% CI = 0.20 – 0.80; p = 0.010) were significant predictors of low back pain among heavy equipment operators.

Conclusion: The prevalence of low back pain disorders among heavy equipment operators at GPHA, Tema was relatively high. Age, working overtime, and awkward posture of frequently bending their trunks sideways were factors that contributed to the development of back pain among persons who work with heavy machinery at the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority, GPHA, Tema Port. Engaging in physical activities was a beneficial factor against low back pain among heavy equipment operators. However, the study did not find any significant association of LBPD impact on job performance and absenteeism. Once more, the research proved that an amalgamation of risk factors contributes to the occurrence of low back pain disorders. 

Recommendation: The management at GPHA should implement policies to lessen the likelihood that heavy equipment operators would experience LBPD.

Audience Take Away Notes:

•    Low back pain (LBP) is ranked as the fourth most common cause of disease burden in the world
•    Increasing age, working overtime, and awkward posture (frequently bending their trunks sideways) are factors that contribute to the development of back pain among persons who work with heavy machinery.
•    Engaging in physical activities is a beneficial factor against low back pain among heavy equipment operators.
•    The research proved that an amalgamation of risk factors contributes to the occurrence of low back pain disorders.

Biography:

Dr. Emmanuel Mintah-Benyin is a Medical Doctor currently working with Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority, Tema-Ghana. He graduated from University of Ghana Medical and Dental School in 2013. He also holds a Master’s in Public Health with Strong focus on Biological, Environmental, Occupational Health and Safety. With his passion for preventive public health activism, his research is focused on prevention and management of occupational related diseases.

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