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Injured at work: what workers' compensation data reveal about work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs).
Silverstein B; Adams D
Olympia, WA: Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, 40-10b-2007, 2007 Apr; :1-16
Objective, Key Findings The Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) Program examined workers' compensation data to demonstrate the impact of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) in Washington State workplaces. The data show that WMSDs continue to represent a significant proportion of workers' compensation costs. 1. WMSDs account for 27 percent of all accepted State Fund workers' compensation claims. 2. These claims are 40 percent of all compensable claims. 3. WMSDs account for 44 percent of the cost of State Fund workers' compensation claims (compensable and medical-only). The fact that WMSDs represent a significant proportion of workers' compensation costs suggests that they should be a high priority for injury prevention. WMSD Risks: 1. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are a number of physical conditions affecting muscles, tendons, nerves and joints that are not caused by acute trauma. Examples include back strain, tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. They occur when the physical demands of work damage these areas of the body. 2. WMSDs are caused or aggravated by exposures to frequent or heavy manual handling, awkward postures and forceful or repetitive exertions. 3. Risk increases as the frequency, duration or intensity of these exposures increase, or multiple risk factors occur at the same time. Fewer injuries and less-severe injuries would occur by reducing the number and frequency of exposures.
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; Age-groups
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
Injured at work: what workers' compensation data reveal about work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs)
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Page last reviewed: September 24, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division