Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are injuries that occur due to repetitive strain on certain muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Poorly designed workplaces, such as ones designed to get work done quickly instead of safely, are the main culprit. Other names for these types of injuries include repetitive strain injuries, repetitive motion disorders, cumulative trauma disorders or overuse syndrome.
Musculoskeletal disorders tend to develop over a long period. They can also cause constant pain that is not overly noticeable at first but progressively worsens until it could be permanent. If left unchecked, MSD can prevent someone from doing their jobs or even doing everyday activities. Examples of MSD symptoms include tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, a rotator cuff injury or lower back injury. Other MSD symptoms include:
There are many MSD risk factors to consider. They can generally be divided into two categories: physical risk factors and work organization/ergonomic hazards.
Physical Risk factors can include:
Work organization risk factors include:
To prevent MSD, an ergonomics program is vital to any workplace. The purpose of this program is to identify hazards in the workplace and determine a control measure to fix them.
Types of controls:
Some employers will be concerned with the cost of implementing some of the controls that need to be put in place, but it is important to remember that MSD treatment will always be more expensive than preventative controls.