Ergonomic Hazards Among Supermarket Luggage Attendants and Security Personnel at A Leading Urban Center in Kenya

Author(s): Walter Ogutu Amulla, Aaron Gichaba Misati

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are a leading occupational health problem in the world. The main risk factors for WMSDs are ergonomic hazards and supermarket workers are among the most-at-risk occupational groups. However, there are few studies on Supermarket luggage attendants/security personnel in Kenya. This study assessed ergonomic hazards among luggage attendants and security personnel at leading supermarkets in an urban center in western Kenya. Data was collected using structured ergonomic assessment checklist and analyzed descriptively on SPSS version 23. Chi-square, Risk Ratios (RR), Mann-Whitney U Test and Fisher’s Exact Test (FET) were used to explore association between variables. Results showed that repetitive motions, awkward posture, pressure points and ergonomically-suboptimal work environment were the main hazards. Being a luggage attendant was associated with higher risk of bending (RR=1.50, 95% CI:1.005—2.238), trunk twisting (RR=2.40, 95% CI:1.229—4.688) and forceful exertion (RR=5.50, 95% CI:1.534—19.714) while being a security personnel was associated with higher risk of prolonged standing (RR=2.40, 95% CI:1.229—4.688), static loading (RR=1.833, 95% CI:1.015—3.310), lacking seats (RR=6.00, 95% CI:1.693—21.262) and showing ≥2 signs of fatigue (RR=2.50, 95% CI:1.080—5.786). Utilizing sitting opportunity was significantly associated with fewer signs of fatigue (p = 0.032, FET). Supermarket luggage attendants and security guards were exposed to ergonomic hazards that are established risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Supermarket management should take steps to mitigate these risks.

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