NSC White Paper Addresses Musculoskeletal Disorders at Work

NSC White Paper Addresses Musculoskeletal Disorders at Work

The paper includes initiatives for reducing the work-related injury.

Every year, thousands of workers are affected by musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, 272,780 cases of MSDs caused people to miss work in the private sector.

In a news release, National Safety Council (NSC) Executive Vice President of Workplace Practice Paul Vincent said, “MSDs significantly undermine business efficiencies and workers’ abilities to live their fullest lives—and more must be done to reduce these chronic, debilitating injuries.”

The NSC and the NSC MSD Solutions Lab are working to reduce the number of MSD injuries and recently published a white paper focusing on this topic. The paper, “Preventing Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders: A Systematic Review of Current Interventions and Future Research Directions,” examines nearly 60 studies on MSDs to provide initiatives for reduction of the work-related injury, based on “interventions across the top 10 afflicted industries,” according to the news release.

The paper noted that using “physical modifications with cognitive processes and organizational change management forms of prevention” is better than using just “physical modifications." However, there are some initiatives that may be helpful in reducing MSDs at work, like "assistive devices, exoskeletons or employer-backed physical activity programs," NSC said. Initiatives like product designs, physical activities and wearable technology may have benefits, but additional research is needed.

For more information on MSDs, visit NSC.org.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

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