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How workers can safely avoid musculoskeletal disorders

Minnesota residents may be interested in learning about musculoskeletal disorders, an injury that affects the tendons, muscles and nerves, and how workers can avoid the injury. According to a report issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, these injuries are a major reason behind employee absenteeism. Those whose jobs involve heavy lifting, pulling or pushing weighty loads, bending and performing other repetitive and strenuous movements are susceptible to the injury.

In the workplace, employers have a responsibility to keep workers safe and can decrease the likelihood and intensity of MSDs by using various strategies to address the issue. An employer who executes an ongoing ergonomic daily process at the workplace may be able to reduce the cost and control the danger of incurring this type of disorder. By taking steps to reduce employee overexertion and discomfort, employers using the process have successfully decreased the chances of the injury occurring among a wide range of occupations ranging from the health care industry to construction and office jobs. Some of the elements involved in the process include a strong team of managers who are willing to implement the process through a clear communication with the workforce regarding each employee's responsibilities and the company's objectives. There should also be free discussion addressing potential workplace dangers that could lead to these disorders and effective training on how to avoid them.

Moreover, employers should encourage workers to report early signs of MSD symptoms in an attempt to prevent a more serious injury that could result in lost-time claims. Lastly, there should be a systematic evaluation to make sure the company's ergonomic process is effective and successful.

An employee who suffers a work-related injury of this nature may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. A Minnesota attorney who has experience in workers' compensation claims can guide the client through the complex filing process.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Workplace", October 20, 2014

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