Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), these are injuries to the skeleton, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and joints that support and bind tissues and organs together so the body can move and sustain itself.
MSDs are the most common injury at work. They cost the economy dearly in lost productivity and high workers compensation costs. This is despite known and accessible methods to prevent or minimize risk of injury.
The sources of risk are well known. They are poorly planned work processes, unsafe workplace layout and tasks done unsafely.
The most common Musculoskeletal disorders are:
- Tension Neck Syndrome,
- Cervical Spine Syndrome;
- Shoulder Tendonitis,
- Shoulder Bursitis,
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome;
- Olecranon Bursitis,
- Radial Tunnel Syndrome,
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome;
- De Quervain Disease,
- Tenosynovitis Wrist / Hand,
- Synovial Cyst,
- Trigger Finger,
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome,
- Guyon’s Canal Syndrome,
- Hand-Arm Syndrome,
- Hypothenar Hammer Syndrome.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety has a very in-depth article concerning MSDs here.
There is nothing inherently wrong with relying on lifting, pulling or pushing to do work. Many tasks still cannot be done any other way even with advances in some industries to automate much heavy and repetitive manual work.
When conducting an incident investigation after an incident from a lifting, pushing, pulling incident, you need to consider all contributing factors.
This form is a list of factors to consider in the course of an investigation. As with any root cause investigation, it can be a mix of contributing factors vs just a single factor.
Some of the factors here are not simple corrections, where as other factors are easily corrected with training, awareness, or procedural change.
Don’t be afraid of change management simply because it appears daunting.