A science mapping-based review of work-related musculoskeletal disorders among construction workers

Maxwell Fordjour Antwi-Afari, Heng Li, Alan Hoi Shou Chan, Joonoh Seo, Shahnawaz Anwer, Hao-yang Mi, Zezhou Wu, Arnold Yu Lok Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are recognized as a leading cause of nonfatal injuries in construction, but no review of existing studies has systematically analyzed and visualized the trends of WMSDs among construction workers. The current science mapping-based review summarized research published between 2000 and 2021 related to WMSDs among construction workers through co-word, co-author, and citation analysis. Method: A total of 63 bibliographic records retrieved from the Scopus database were analyzed. Results: The results identified influential authors with high impacts in this research domain. Moreover, the results indicated that MSDs, ergonomics, and construction not only had the highest occurrence of been studied, but also the highest impact in terms of total link strength. In addition, the most significant contributions to research relating to WMSDs among construction workers have originated primarily from the United States, Hong Kong, and Canada. Furthermore, a follow-up in-depth qualitative discussion was conducted to focus on summarizing mainstream research topics, identifying existing research gaps, and proposing directions for future studies. Conclusions: This review provides an in-depth understanding of related research on WMSDs among construction workers and proposes the emerging trends in this research field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-128
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Early online date3 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

The authors acknowledged the following three funding grants: 1. General Research Fund (GRF) Grant (BRE/PolyU 152047/19E) entitled “In Search of a Suitable Tool for Proactive Physical Fatigue Assessment: An Invasive to Non-invasive Approach”; 2. General Research Fund (GRF) Grant (BRE/PolyU 15210720) entitled “The development and validation of a non-invasive tool to monitor mental and physical stress in construction workers”; and 3. Aston Research and Knowledge Exchange Pump Priming Fund 2021/22 entitled “Digital Twin-Enabled Wearable Sensing Technologies for Improved Workers’ Activity Recognition and Work-Related Risk Assessment”

Copyright © 2023, Elsevier. This accepted manuscript version is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/


  • construction workers
  • literature review
  • science mapping
  • Scientometric analysis
  • Work-related musculoskeletal disorders
  • Literature review
  • Science mapping
  • Construction workers


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