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July 08, 2013
BLR launches injury prevention resource center

Though they may not be as dramatic as fatal accidents or amputation incidents, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can be extremely painful for employees, as well as costly for employers. To help businesses address this hazard, BLR has created a new resource center that provides employers with essential information on prevention of the most common MSDs. MSDs, also referred to as ergonomic injuries, affect all types of employers, from manufacturing and construction companies to healthcare facilities, transportation companies, and even office environments.

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MSDs include sprains, strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, back and shoulder injuries, and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2011, MSDs accounted for 33 percent of all workplace injury and illness cases. 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.

Common risk factors for MSDs include:

  • Overexertion,
  • Awkward or non-neutral postures or movements,
  • Repetitive motion,
  • Vibration, and
  • Forceful movements.

Back injuries are the most common, accounting for 41.8% of MSDs in 2011. 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.

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; and
  • Registered nurses.

BLR’s new resource center provides a collection of training materials, checklists, and other information on preventing common musculoskeletal injuries. Among the items included are plans for office ergonomics and safe lifting, articles on preventing neck and shoulder injuries, and an audio presentation about back safety.

Check out the new Preventing Common Musculoskeletal Injuries resource center and find the information you need to keep your workers healthy, safe, and on the job.

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