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MSDs Cripple Business

Jul 9, 2015

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can be so severe that some people may be unable to do something as simple as comb their hair, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA).

Companies spend billions of dollars in direct and indirect costs of MSDs that are caused by work. OSHA identifies repetitive motion, heavy lifting, forceful exertion, contact stress, vibration, awkward posture and rapid hand-and-wrist movement as specific risk factors associated with these injuries. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common MSDs.

You can take several steps in your workplace to help reduce or prevent potential MSDs. OSHA offers these ideas:

• Study your company's injury and illness records to identify jobs where problems have occurred.

• Ask workers to tell you which tasks cause pain that results in time off work.

• Encourage employees to report MSD symptoms.

• Develop a medical management system to detect problems as early as possible.

• Find ways to reduce repetitive motion tasks, forceful hand exertions, prolonged bending or working about shoulder height.

• Reduce or eliminate vibration and sharp edges or handles that dig into the skin.

• Use equipment designed for heavy or repetitive lifting.

Take preventive measures to eliminate lost productivity and health-care costs associated with work-related MSDs. Many simple solutions to poor ergonomics don't involve spending money. Be creative. The people who do the work often can help identify factors that lead to MSDs. One suggestion from OSHA is to rotate assembly-line workers so no one does the same task all day long.

You can call Plapp Insurance at 1-800-820-7575 or use our contact form.

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