Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the most frequently reported cases of lost or restricted work time and can be significantly reduced by properly fitting a job to a person, also known as the study of ergonomics. Ergonomics involves evaluating the physical aspects of an environment (e.g. workstations) as well as the way in which people work to help prevent MSDs.
MSDs, typically acquired at work, are injuries to the body’s joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and structures that support your limbs, neck, and back. They are inflammatory conditions that can either arise suddenly or from repetitive strain, such as constant lifting or typing. Common examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and general back pain. MSDs can impair normal work activities if not treated and managed properly.
By law, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees and one way to do this is by implementing ergonomic principles. The number and severity of MSDs, as well as any associated costs, can be reduced by applying these principles and thereby improving the work environments and health of employees.