Association between perceived union connection and upper body musculoskeletal pains among unionized construction apprentices

Seung-Sup Kim, Melissa J. Perry, Cassandra A. Okechukwu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Several studies show varying associations between unionization and workers' health and well-being. This study investigated the association between individual worker's perceived union connection and musculoskeletal pains (MSPs). Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 1,757 unionized construction apprentices. Perceived union connection is a psychosocial scale measured by six questions that assessed individual worker's connection to their union (range 10-24) at unionized workplaces. We measured the prevalence of four MSPs (neck, shoulder, arm, and back pain) and difficulty in daily home activities, job activities, and sleeping caused by each of the four MSPs. Results: We found that a one score increase in perceived union connection was associated with 5% decreased odds of reporting neck pain (OR: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.91-1.00) and back pain (OR: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.91-0.99) after adjusting for confounders including self-reported ergonomic strain. We also found significant associations between perceived union connection and MSPs causing difficulty in daily activities. For a one score increase in perceived union connection, the odds of reporting back pain causing difficulty in home activities, job activities, and sleeping was 9% (95% CI: 0.87-0.96), 8% (95% CI: 0.88-0.96), and 7% (95% CI: 0.89-0.98) lower, respectively. Conclusions: Although our findings are limited by the cross-sectional nature of the data, these results suggest that workers' perceived union connection can vary even within unionized workplaces, and it may be associated with the prevalence of MSPs and MSPs causing difficulty in daily activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Musculoskeletal Pain
Back Pain
Workplace
Shoulder Pain
Human Engineering
Neck Pain
Arm
Neck
Cross-Sectional Studies
Health

Keywords

  • Construction workers
  • Low back pain
  • Musculoskeletal pains
  • Perceived union connection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Association between perceived union connection and upper body musculoskeletal pains among unionized construction apprentices. / Kim, Seung-Sup; Perry, Melissa J.; Okechukwu, Cassandra A.

In: American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Vol. 56, No. 2, 01.02.2013, p. 189-196.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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