Q: What is a musculoskeletal disorder?
A: Musculoskeletal disorders are any injuries or damage to muscle groups, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, or tendons. Common examples of musculoskeletal disorders are carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, rotator cuff injuries, trigger finger, and muscle strains.
Q: How do I prevent workers from musculoskeletal disorders?
A: Preparation and education is the best way to prevent musculoskeletal damage. Some steps that can be done are:
- Involve workers in prevention programs. Have workers involved in worksite assessments. They are usually the most knowledgeable and experienced in the area and can provide accurate insight.
- Provide training. Most injuries are caused by improper use or bad technique when working on the job site.
- Identify problems. Is there a pattern of injuries for certain workers or in specific areas on a job site? Supervise these areas closely and look for anything that might be seen as bad procedure and address the situation.
- Encourage early reporting. Often times a musculoskeletal disorder might seem like everyday soreness. It is important to report even small injuries or fatigue and look into it closely.
- Provide Personal Protective Equipment when necessary.