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Benefits of an ergonomic workplace

Although workplace injuries happen more frequently in warehouse, manufacturing and construction, those in less labor-intensive jobs may suffer from musculoskeletal disorders. These disorders affect the blood vessels, nerves, tendons, ligaments and muscles. 

Medical News Today reports that Repetitive Strain Injuries, a type of MSD, generally affect the upper and lower back, chest, neck, shoulders, arms and hands. This kind of injury is also known as repetitive motion disorder, cumulative trauma disorder, repetitive motion injuries, overuse syndrome and regional musculoskeletal disorder. Symptoms include the following: 

  • Tingling in the hand or arm 
  • Loss of sensation 
  • Throbbing or pulsing sensation 
  • Pain or tenderness in the affected joint or muscle 
  • Loss of strength 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, work-related MSDs are one of the most frequently reported reasons for restricted and lost work. Employers can prevent or significantly reduce the cost related to these issues by applying ergonomic principals. There are several important elements during the successful implementation of the ergonomic process. 

Management support is a priority. Defining goals and objectives clearly, involving workers and identifying workplace hazards can result in reducing exposure to risk factors. 

Training is also an essential component of the process. The lack of proper information can result in overlooked symptoms and areas for concern. 

Early reporting of RSIs can help reduce symptom progression and minimize the likelihood of more serious injuries developing. As a result, lost time and claims may also dwindle. 

Responsible employers must take the necessary steps for the prevention of MSDs, such as repetitive motion injuries. Those who do not may experience a large number of claims. For office workers without an ergonomic workplace, long hours at the keyboard may result in worker’s comp claims for carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, bursitis, Raynaud’s disease and other overuse syndromes.