Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An investigation into relationships between musculoskeletal body pain and different methods of domestic waste collection with local authority managed staff
Author: Thomas , David Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 6915
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
In recent years there has been debate on associated relationships between the methods of waste collection and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). This has increased following legislative requirements that affect collection methods. Whilst many local authorities (LAs) collect and sort recyclables from boxes and baskets, others use wheeled bins. With local authorities aiming to reduce absence rates due to ill health, the high levels of MSDs in the waste industry have meant that the work activity has become the focus of attention. 2 The aim of this study was to establish relationships between domestic waste collection methods and MSD ill health. A participatory investigation was chosen to overcome the problems of previous studies, namely gaining access to accurate and relevant data. Identified variables were absence rates, self-reported pain via 'body mapping' and risk rating data using the HSE risk comparator tool. These were analysed in relation to types of waste collection services employed. Absence data was requested from 63 LAs with an inhouse service, responses were received from 15 authorities. Participatory body mapping exercises were carried out in five authorities. Aylesbury Vale District Council staff were resurveyed in 2013, six months after the move from boxes and baskets to a wheeled bin recycling service. The lowest levels of self reported pain was for 'loaders' handling 2401 wheeled bins without glass; the highest levels were for 1001 garden waste sacks and 501 recycling boxes. The study also identified that drivers' self-reported pain could be reduced if they shared their duties with a colleague. There were even lower absence rates associated with 11001 trade bins, when handled by two loaders. This industry data supports previous laboratory studies showing wheeled bins to be associated with less MSD outcomes than boxes, baskets and sacks. Triangulation of data established a statistically significant correlation of 0.82 (Pearson Correlation) between average pain count (APC) and the mean MSD absence rates, with a strong correlation of 0.77 (Speannan) between APC and risk rating. The correlation is moderate, 0.49, (Spearman) between MSD absence and risk rating, reflecting the propensity for greater intervening variables to effect absence rates. Low sample sizes may have also reduced the significance levels, although visual graphs showing association were compelling. These findings should help LAs better understand some critical factors regarding waste collection strategies and MSD absence and inform HSE enforcement strategies. There are 20 recommendations on further study, the wastes industry and the use of body mapping.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available