Preventing Common Musculoskeletal Injuries

12 Jul

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011, MSDs accounted for more than 33 percent of all workplace injury and illness cases, and workers with MSDs required a median of 11 days away from work to recover, compared to a median of 8 days for all types of injuries.
Workers in the following occupations are at particularly high risk for MSDs:
• Nursing assistants
• Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
• Janitors and cleaners
• Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
• Registered nurses
Common risk factors for MSDs include:
• Overexertion
• Awkward or non-neutral postures or movements
• Repetitive motion
• Vibration
• Forceful movements
Back injuries are the most common, accounting for 41.8% of MSDs in 2011. To help prevent back injuries, educate your workers about safe lifting practices. Workplace wellness programs that encourage physical fitness and a healthy body weight may also help to reduce back injuries.
Shoulder injuries accounted for just 13% of MSDs in 2011, but tended to be the most severe, requiring a median of 21 days away from work to recover. Light stretching, the use of lifting and gripping aids, and frequent short rest breaks can help to minimize the risk of shoulder injuries.
For more information about dealing with these issues for your company, contact Don Dressler Consulting at

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