work related injury
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Certain industries have a greater exposure to various risks and perils depending on the nature of the job. For example, construction workers specifically face many hazards due to intensive manual labor and operating heavy equipment and machinery. Aside from these obvious dangers that come to mind, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are an unexpected and common work related injury. Below you will find MSDs fleshed out, explained, and remedied.

The Scope of Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders are the pains that affect and are felt in muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments, and nerves. According to OSHA, musculoskeletal disorders accounted for 33 percent of all work related injuries. A wide-spread problem of this magnitude should not be taken lightly, especially when the effects of which are costing construction companies so much in dividends. Companies in the United States spent roughly 50 billion dollars covering the costs of MSDs in 2011 alone.

work related injury

Symptoms

Due to the variety of risk factors, there are different symptoms that can occur. MSDs can cause the following distresses:

  • Tendinitis
  • Trigger finger
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Rotator cuff
  • Muscle strains

What Causes this Work Related Injury?

Musculoskeletal disorders arise from two groups of risk factors: ergonomic and individual. Ergonomics is the idea of fitting a job to a person based on their skill set, ability, and the nature of the job. Ergonomic risk factors have to do with your job and include any possible way you do work throughout a given day. Individual risk factors are the personal preferences and choices that a person may choose to adhere to in their life. Poor choices can have a negative effect especially for construction workers who are always on their feet doing manual labor.

Ergonomic Risk Factors

  • Repetitive motion of a singular body part for an elongated period of time
  • Working from an awkward or stiff position, especially those that affect the back
  • Overexertion from carrying or moving heavy loads
  • Working in cold conditions and frigid temperatures
  • Excessive or consistent pressure against a body part
  • Not using the appropriate protective gear and padding

Individual Risk Factors

  • Not enough sleep, resulting in fatigue
  • Absence of a workout regimen
  • Poor nutrition and health
  • Lazy or inaccurate work tendencies

work related injury

How This Injury Can Be Prevented

The solution to individual risk factors is up to the individual if they choose to live healthier. On the other hand, there are many different strategies and techniques that can ail all of the problems associated with ergonomic risk factors. Some practices to prevent work related MSDs include:

  • Delegating specific tasks to workers based on ability and limitations
  • Involving and receiving feedback from workers on issues that they have encountered and are concerned with
  • Training all employees completely and sufficiently
  • Reviewing injury records to see where most problems arise
  • Using devices to lift heavy materials and reducing weight
  • Modifying tools to allow neutral, prone postures
  • Using padding to diminish contact with hard or vibrating surfaces

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Hensel Phelps Construction, a California-based company, implemented sweeping ergonomic practices and, as a result, went over 104,000 labor hours without any work related MSDs. These reforms do bring about change for the better for this work related illness.


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