PT Founder and CEO Spectrum Ergonomics and Occupational Health Services, USA
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common workplace injury, with 327,650 occurring in the U.S. in 2019 according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety, and Health Administration (OSHA) . The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor defines MSDs as musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases and disorders when the activity or exposure leading to the onset of symptoms is bodily movement (i.e. bending, reaching, twisting, crawling, climbing), overexertion, or repetitive motion. MSDs do not include disorders caused by incidents of slips, trips, falls, or similar mishaps. Examples of MSDs include, but are not limited to: sprains, strains, and tears, back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome . MSDs carry a high price tag for employers. Included in this steep cost are tangibles such as absenteeism and lost productivity. Additionally, there are increased health care, disability, and workers’ compensation costs. This price tag is higher than the average nonfatal injury or illness .
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are conditions within the work environment and as a result of the performance of work in this environment, contribute significantly to the condition. This may also include a worsening or persistence of symptoms due to work conditions . Types of work conditions that may lead to WMSDs include, but not exclusive of, repetitive lifting of heavy objects, exposure to whole body vibration daily, repetitive or prolonged overhead work, work with the neck in chronic forward flexed posture, or the performance of repetitive forceful tasks. It has been demonstrated that there is strong evidence for a significant correlation between work conditions and MSDs of the neck, back, and upper extremity .
Jeff Hiserman. “Soft Robotic Gloves Offer Great Promise in Preventing Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders”. EC Orthopaedics 14.6 (2023): 01-04.
© 2023 Jeff Hiserman. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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