Workers in many different industries and occupations can be exposed to risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).  Lifting heavy items, bending, reaching overhead, pushing and pulling heavy loads, working in awkward body postures and performing the same or similar tasks repetitively have all been identified as risk factors.  MSDs such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, rotator cuff injuries, trigger finger, muscle strains and low back injuries can affect muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments and tendons, resulting in chronic health issues, lost work time and associated costs.

Work-related MSDs can be substantially reduced by applying ergonomic principals.  Implementing an ergonomic process is effective in reducing the risk of developing MSDs in industries as diverse as construction, food processing, firefighting, office jobs, healthcare, transportation and warehousing.

Important elements of an effective ergonomic process include management support, worker involvement, training, identification of problems, early reporting of MSD symptoms, implementing solutions to control hazards and ongoing evaluation of progress.  Applying ergonomic principles through an organized process can be a very effective in reducing the number and severity of work-related MSDs.

For more information and resources, visit the OSHA Ergonomics webpage.

Upcoming OSHA #2255 Principles of Ergonomics Classes