An ergonomic study in building demolition: Assessment of musculoskeletal disorders risk factors by PATH method

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Occupational Health, Health faculty, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran

3 Department of Occupational Health, Health Faculty, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Iran


Aims: The aim of this study was the investigation of musculoskeletal disorders risk factors among building demolition workers. Materials and Methods: Posture, activity, tools, and handling (PATH) method as a work sampling method was applied to record the postures, activities, and handling of building demolition workers in four tasks. The percentage of working time is reported for each item to compare the risk factors in tasks. Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire also was used to study the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders over 12 months. Results: Trunk, leg(s), and arm(s) postures differed significantly among tasks. Neutral arm posture and non-neutral leg(s) and trunk postures were observed frequently. Manual materials handling (MMH) activities are distributed differently among tasks. Moving was the most observed (35%) and carrying was the less observed (11.8%) MMH activity. Gross grasp was the most observed (78.5%) hand activity in building demolition workers. The most observed weight category was 0 kg≤load<5 kg. Low back had the highest prevalence of MSDs symptoms (91.1%) and hip had the lowest prevalence of symptoms (6.7%). Conclusions: PATH is applicable to building demolition process. Ergonomic intervention is necessary in high prevalence body regions such as lower back and wrist to decrease the symptoms. With respect to the results of PATH method, ergonomic interventions for trunk and leg(s) are necessary in all tasks, but only task #3 is in the priority of arm(s) intervention.


Volume 1, October
October 2012
Pages 1-5
  • Receive Date: 05 February 2023
  • Accept Date: 05 February 2023