Preventing Workplace Musculoskeletal DisordersPosted on: September 10, 2014Categories: LiveWell 24/7
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace are one of the leading causes of workday injury and illness. MSDs are diseases that affect the muscles, nerves and tendons through diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, rotator cuff injuries, muscle strains and lower back injuries. These are just a few examples of work related MSDs that are most frequently reported for causing lost or restricted work time. Workers in several different industries are exposed to risk factors such as lifting heavy objects, reaching overhead, pushing and pulling heavy loads, or performing the same or similar tasks repetitively. These risk factors increase a workers risk of injury, however work-related MSDs can be prevented. Ergonomics can help reduce muscle fatigue, increase productivity and reduce risk factors associated with MSDs by fitting a specific job to a specific worker. By placing an employee in a job that best suits their physical capabilities, employees can provide a safe and healthy workplace which will in turn increase productivity and reduce costs associated with MSDs. Here are some tips on following an ergonomic process and maintaining a safer and healthier workplace:
- Management Support– Provide clear goals and objectives for placing workers into jobs through the workplace management. Assign responsibilities to employees and communicate clearly.
- Involve Employees– Ask workers to identify hazards in their workplace and have them assist in the ergonomic process by having them voice their opinions on reducing exposure to risk factors for MSDs.
- Training– This is a key in developing a healthy workplace. Providing the proper training ensures workers know how to decrease their risk of MSDs and educates them on identifying early symptoms.
- Control Hazards– Identify things in the workplace that increase the risk of MSDs in employees and address them thoroughly by implementing long-term solutions. This helps reduce, control or eliminate workplace MSDs.