Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal discs. These disorders can be classified as work-related if the work environment and performance of work contribute significantly to the condition or if the condition is made worse or stays longer because of work conditions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor, “An MSD is a musculoskeletal system and connective tissue disorder where the event or exposure leading to the case is bodily reaction, overexertion, or repetitive motion.” This includes motions such as bending, climbing, crawling, reaching, or twisting. They are not typically from slips or falls.
At Safety Solutions & Supply, we know MSDs such as sprains, strains, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or a hernia don’t make for a great work environment. That’s why we want to share some protective steps you can take for your employees. To be proactive, you can implement the three-tier hierarchy of controls.
Protective Steps to Protect Against MSD
- First Tier
This includes the use of engineering controls by using a mechanical assist device to transport heavier loads, using slotted hand holes in packages that need to be manually lifted, and height-adjustable workbenches at each workstation.
- Second Tier
The second tier is the use of administrative controls. This includes reducing the length of shifts, allowing more breaks for recovery, setting up a rotating schedule for workers, and providing the needed training to teach them techniques to ease the physical strain.
- Third Tier
The third tier involves the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). While normal PPE includes ear plugs, safety goggles, hard hats, gloves, etc., some would also like it to include braces, splints, back belts or anything that can reduce strain on the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage or spine. The only concern is that while it does help with MSD, it could also increase exposure to something else.
If you have any questions regarding MSDs and the safety steps you can take, feel free to contact us here at Safety Solutions & Supply. We are proud to offer various training services, so call us today at 866-537-2262 for more information.