Introduction: The animal handler performs activities such as feeding, restraining and transporting animals. This worker may develop musculoskeletal disorders resulting from working conditions. Objectives: To describe musculoskeletal symptoms in Brazilian animal handlers. Method: This study was carried out with the population of animal handlers in an Ecological Park. Initially, a sociodemographic and health questionnaire was applied to characterize the workers. The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ), Need for Recovery Scale (NFR) and Work Ability Index (WAI) were applied to collect data related to the presence of symptoms, fatigue and work ability. Workplace observations were performed to assess the presence of risk factors using the Ergonomic Workplace Analysis (EWA) instrument. Results: Animal handlers (n=11) are exposed to occupational risk factors such as: unfavorable postures, handling loads and excessive physical exertion. The symptoms identified in these workers affected the shoulder (72.8%), wrist (72.8%), hand (72.8%), back (72.8%), hip (63.6%), thigh (63. 6%), knee (54.5%), ankle (54.5%) and feet (54.5%). Conclusion: It was possible to describe the musculoskeletal symptoms in animal handlers in Brazil, as a first step towards the elaboration of specific ergonomic recommendations to support the activities of the animal handler.
Keywords: Zoological park, musculoskeletal disorders, human factors, ergonomics.