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Accurate and Efficient Assessments of Working Posture

Categories: Ergonomics

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Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for roughly one-third of workplace illness and injuries in the United States. According to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, overexertion injuries, which include those from work-related lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing, cost U.S. businesses $14.2 billion in direct costs in 2013. To address the burden of preventable musculoskeletal and overexertion injuries, practitioners in the fields of Occupational Safety, Industrial Hygiene and Ergonomics need workplace assessment methods that are both accurate (valid) and time efficient.

National Doughnut Day

Categories: Ergonomics, Respiratory Health, Service Sector, Young Workers

Whether you are celebrating National Doughnut Day today with the traditional glazed or a trendy bacon-infused delicacy, take a moment to think about those who bring you these sugary breakfast treats.  We are not passing judgment nor endorsing your breakfast selection (that question is better addressed by you and your nutritionist) but instead encouraging all of us to consider the potential health risks faced by those workers who make the 10 billion doughnuts produced every year in the U.S.[i]. Lest you think we are killing your doughnut-induced sugar buzz, you should know that the first National Doughnut Day was created for workers.  The Salvation Army created the day in 1938 to “honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I.”[ii]

Persistent Pain in the Neck! What Resources Help you Prevent MSDs in the Workplace?

Categories: Ergonomics, Manufacturing

Repetitive tasks, awkward postures, twisting and turning, or forceful exertions at work are often associated with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as neck or back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or tendinitis. These are disorders or injuries that affect muscles, tendons, nerves, discs, ligaments, etc. They remain a leading work-related condition. About 30% of all injuries and illnesses involving lost days from work are associated with repetitive motion and/or overexertion (BLS).

Joint Pain in the Workplace

Categories: Ergonomics, Manufacturing, Total Worker Health

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) include a number of physical conditions affecting muscles, tendons, nerves, ligaments, joints, and other soft tissues that can be caused, or exacerbated, by work.  It is estimated that MSDs account for approximately one-third of injury and illness costs in U.S. industry.  Many musculoskeletal conditions can result specifically in chronic or short-term joint pain.  One example of joint pain is arthritis, which is the leading cause of work disability, according to the CDC.  Arthritis is a condition in which the cartilage surfaces between bones wears away resulting in bone rubbing on bone.  In 2007, the annual cost of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions was reported to be $128 billion (MMWR, 2007).  This total included an estimated $47 billion in lost earnings.  The prevalence of arthritis in the U.S. is projected to increase to nearly 67 million (25% of the adult population) by the year 2030 with 25 million (9.3% of the adult population) projected to be limited in their physical activity because of the condition (Hootman and Helmick, 2006).  Working-age adults (45-64 years) will account for almost one-third of arthritis cases.  Workplace programs in the areas of safety, ergonomics, wellness, and disability management can all play a role in preventing joint pain and preserving joint health in working individuals of all ages.

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