Business Insurance

Help Prevent Workplace Injuries with Ergonomics

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), “Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. In the workplace, the number and severity of MSDs resulting from physical overexertion, and their associated costs, can be substantially reduced by applying ergonomic principals.”

Proper ergonomic design can prevent repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability. Here are some important tips to keep in mind about ergonomics:

  • The top of the computer monitor should be at or just below eye level
  • Head and neck should be balanced and in-line with torso
  • Shoulders should be relaxed
  • Elbows should be close to the body and supported
  • Lower back should be supported
  • Wrists and hands should be in-line with forearms
  • There should be adequate room for the keyboard and mouse
  • Feet should be flat on the floor

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Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)

Good ergonomics can prevent MSDs, which can affect the body’s muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. most work-related MSDs develop over time and are caused either by the work itself or by the employee’s working environment.

  • In 2008, MSDs accounted for 29.4 percent of all occupational injuries and illnesses
  • In 2007, employees suffering from MSDs missed a median of nine days of work (two more days than the median for all days-away-from-work cases)
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