An Investigation into the Solutions for Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Hairdressing Industry.
Hairdressers’ exposure to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) appears to be insufficiently described in the literature. Knowledge regarding musculoskeletal disorders in this group is also sparse. The purpose of the research was to investigate the status of work-related musculoskeletal disorder cases found in Taiwanese hairdressers and to develop user-centred, strategic solutions to prevent the accumulation of musculoskeletal disorders in this group, especially newcomers to the industry. The study involved a series of investigations into the status of WMSDs for hairdressers in Taiwan as a first step towards their prevention. A hairdresser-oriented, musculoskeletal questionnaire was used to discover the risk factors associated with WMSDs and a validated, on-line, rapid, upper-limb assessment tool was used to identify critical hairdressing working postures. Improvements to the main critical hairdressing working postures identified by the first stage of the research have been addressed by an ergonomics training programme. The effectiveness of this is validated using 3D-motion analysis based on a pre- and post-test evaluation of awkward movements. A scientific approach to 3D-motion analysis has been achieved specifically by the study of the awkward working postures of the upper extremity during hair-blow-waving and hair-straightening activities. The relationship between working postures and WMSDs in various body regions is discussed. In this regard, poor posture and movement can lead to local mechanical stress on the muscles, ligaments and joints, resulting in discomfort in the musculoskeletal system, particularly the neck, back, shoulder and wrist. This research has provided a WMSDs prevention framework as a strategic method of securing a continuous improvement in the awkward working postures adopted during various hairdressing activities. Topics for further studies are suggested.
- PhD