The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety has published educational information to prevent muskuloskeletal Injuries at work. Injuries caused by ergonomic factors have been a major issue of the Federal government for decades and have been the basis for repetitive trauma motion claims for workers' compensation benefits. While the Clinton-Democratic administration had advocated strongly for ergonomic regulations, the Bush-Republican administration took action to reject the reporting of ergonomic injuries to OSHA.
A work-related musculoskeletal disorder is an injury of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, joints, cartilage, bones, or blood vessels in the arms, legs, head, neck, or back that is caused or aggravated by work tasks such as lifting, pushing, and pulling. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, numbness, and tingling.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor defines MSDs as musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases and disorders when the event or exposure leading to the case is bodily reaction (e.g., bending, climbing, crawling, reaching, twisting), overexertion, or repetitive motion. MSDs do not include disorders caused by slips, trips, falls, or similar incidents. Examples of MSDs include:
- Sprains, strains, and tears
- Back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders occur when there is a mismatch between the physical requirements of the job and the physical capacity of the human body. More than 100 different injuries can result from repetitive motions that produce wear and tear on the body. Specific risk factors associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders include repetitive motion, heavy lifting, forceful exertion, contact stress, vibration, awkward posture, and rapid hand and wrist movement.
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