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Work-related musculoskeletal disorders of the neck, back, and upper extremity in Washington State, 1995-2003.

Silverstein-B; Adams-D
Olympia, WA: Department of Labor and Industries, 40-9-2005, 2005 Dec; :1-5
OBJECTIVES: We report the frequency, incidence rate (number of new claims per 10,000 full-time equivalent employees FTEs, CIR), severity rate (number of lost days per 10,000 FTEs, SR) cost, lost time and industry distribution of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) in Washington State in order to monitor and help focus prevention efforts by business, labor and government. METHODS In the current study we examined State Fund workers' compensation claims for general and selected specific hand/wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck and back disorders in 1995-2003. We examined the Self-Insured closed compensable (four or more losttime days) claims data for general categories because diagnostic codes (ICD-9) were unavailable. We used a prevention index (PI) to rank industries by taking the average rank by incidence rate and rank by number of claims. We used the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes for industry for national comparison purposes. There was minor adjustment in the method for identifying the appropriate NAICS per claim compared to previous years. We used the Washington State Industrial Risk Classes (WIC) to reflect workers' compensation classes. The focus was on non-traumatic soft tissue musculoskeletal disorders. These musculoskeletal disorders, when caused or aggravated by work activities, (for example, exposures to frequent or heavy manual handling, awkward postures, forceful or repetitive exertions) are referred to as Work-related MSDs or WMSDs. The lower extremity is not included in this report. We also included individual characteristics of gender, age and body mass index identified in the claims data to explore potential interactions with industry and WMSDs. RESULTS Between 1995 and 2003 there were more than 50,000 State Fund and Self-Insured workers' compensation claims for WMSDs per year in Washington State.
Injuries; Injury-prevention; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Back-injuries; Neck-injuries; Extremities; Information-retrieval-systems; Information-processing; Surveillance-programs; Statistical-analysis; Health-hazards; Health-care; Industrial-environment; Occupations; Work-environment; Worker-health; Carpal-tunnel-syndrome; Hand-injuries; Arm-injuries; Body-regions; Lost-work-days; Disabled-workers; Muscle-physiology; Immune-reaction; Neuromotor-function; Neuromuscular-function; Repetitive-work; Manual-lifting; Manual-materials-handling; Pain-tolerance; Cumulative-trauma; Posture; Vibration-effects; Vibration-exposure; Force; Author Keywords: work-related musculoskeletal disorders; sciatica; carpal tunnel syndrome; epicondylitis; rotator cuff syndrome; workers compensation
Barbara Silverstein, PhD, MPH, Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) Program, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, PO Box 44330, Olympia, WA 98504-4330
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Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Neck, Back, and Upper Extremity in Washington State, 1995-2003
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Washington State Department of Labor and Industries