Work Exposures and Musculoskeletal Disorders among Railroad Maintenance-of-Way Workers

Paul Landsbergis, Eckardt Johanning, Marco Stillo, Rahul Jain, Michelle Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective:The aim of this study was to measure musculoskeletal disorders and occupational risk factors among railroad maintenance-of-way (MOW) workers.Methods:Four thousand eight hundred sixteen active, retired, and disabled members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) completed a survey.Results:Compared with U.S. employed men, adjusting for age, race, and region, active male MOW workers were more likely to report "repeated lifting, pushing, pulling, or bending" at work (74.6% vs 46.9%), not enough staff (88.1% vs 65.2%), and a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome (7.9% vs 3.6%). They were less likely to report management priority on workplace health and safety (59.37% vs 94.8%), ability to make job decisions on their own (68.4% vs 87.7%), and supervisor support (60.3% vs 90.8%) (all comparisons, P < 0.001).Conclusion:Prevention programs should address risk of musculoskeletal disorders and occupational hazards faced by MOW workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-596
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • ergonomics
  • maintenance-of-way
  • musculoskeletal
  • railroad


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