With around 5.8 million foreign workers in Malaysia helping to fuel the country's economic growth, how do we make sure that their welfare is being taken care of?

For starters, we might want to make sure to minimise their work load, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.

Out of the 317 workers surveyed in Malaysia, two-thirds of them reported suffering from musculoskeletal pain that their work either caused or made worse.

Interestingly, those under pressure to meet work demands or had long or unsociable work hours were significantly more likely to report pain.

"Among the psychosocial factors addressed in the study, pressure to meet work targets showed the highest correlation with musculoskeletal disorders," the press release stated.

With an alarmingly high rate of musculoskeletal pain reported, the occupational health of Malaysia's migrant workers is considerably at risk, the report warned.

ALSO READ: Malaysia’s home-grown talent ranked fifth in the world Malaysia to vet all foreign workers

"In order for Malaysia to sustain its manufacturing industry over the long term, interventions to manage and prevent musculoskeletal disorders are vital," concluded the report.

"Prevention efforts should include a transition to more healthful and reasonable working hours, scheduling practices as well as a general improvement in the physical environment of factory premises."

In a similar situation, those who were exposed to dust were almost six times more likely to suffer from musculoskeletal pain than those who are not.

Additionally, those who expressed concerns about the reliability of their equipment were two times as likely to report pain.

Image: Shutterstock