Workers health is a field of community health that has opened spaces for identifying and preventing work-related diseases, especially musculoskeletal disorders in view of their extent and magnitude. We conducted thus a cross-sectional study in the biggest metal industry in the city of Canoas--RS, aimed at identifying the musculoskeletal symptoms of a group of metal industry workers and the association of these symptoms with socio-demographic and occupational variables. Two questionnaires were employed for gathering data: the first one was used to collect information on demographic and occupational variables and individual life habits and the second for identifying the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms (Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire). Results showed that 75.2 % of the workers had related some kind of musculoskeletal symptom during the last 12 months, 53.3% during the last 7 days and 38.5% had already taken a time off due to this problem. There was also an association between the musculoskeletal symptom and the variables sex, age, occupation and educational level. We conclude that there is a high prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders among workers, calling for preventive actions and health promotion in the work environment.