this study identified the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders among casual dockworkers. this is a retrospective and quantitative study, the data sources of which included the medical files of dockworkers from 2000 to 2009. data were collected in a medical service for dockworkers using a previously developed form; descriptive quantitative analysis was performed. ethical aspects were complied with. a total of 15.8% of the diagnoses identified among male workers referred to musculoskeletal disorders. individuals older than 52 years of age and with more than 21 years working in the field predominated. the most frequent musculoskeletal diseases included low back pain (38.8%), tendinitis (19.7%), and neck pain (12.5%). these diseases can be prevented through health interventions, confirming the importance of developing clinical support in nursing in order to improve the quality of life of dockworkers.