Musculoskeletal symptoms among women currently and formerly working in fish-filleting plants

Hulda Ólafsdóttir*, Vilhjálmur Rafnsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors surveyed women currently or formerly working in fish- filleting plants to evaluate their musculoskeletal symptoms, using the standardized Nordic Questionnaire on musculoskeletal symptoms. The women's work consisted of cutting and trimming fish fillets, which were transported to and from the work stations by conveyor belts. The prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms during the preceding 12 months was higher among former than current workers. The Mantel-Haenszel odds ratio for symptoms of the fingers, ankles, and wrists hindering normal work during the preceding 12 months were 7.1 (95% CI 2.8-18.0), 5.3 (95% CI 1.3-21.5), and 3.4 (95% CI 1.3-8.8), respectively. The higher prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms among those who had stopped working at the fish-filleting plants than among those continuing to do so indicates a healthy-worker selection. There may be a causal relationship between musculoskeletal symptoms and ceasing to work at the plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-49
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Other keywords

  • Current workers
  • Fish-processing industry
  • Former workers
  • Musculoskeletal symptoms
  • Questionnaire
  • Repetitive work


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