The US Department of Labor (DOL), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data from 2017 on November 8, 2018. It is always interesting to me that the data regarding musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) doesn’t really change that much from year to year. Once again in this data set, median days away from work (a key measure of the severity of cases) was 8 overall (unchanged from 2016 data). And once again, median days away from work for musculoskeletal disorders was significantly higher. In manufacturing, median days away from work for MSDs were 12 (although this was slightly down from 2016, which is good). Also in manufacturing, sprains, strains and tears was the leading type of injury, unchanged from 2016. Median days away for these injuries was 10.
This data, every year, shows us that MSDs are a significant problem in industry, and despite high numbers, the numbers don’t change much from year to year. Costs associated with these injuries continue to be high, and lost time is significant. I see that employers benefit from shifting resources to address these high frequency claims, through effective ergonomics programs and processes. The goal should be to increase your proactive strategies – get AHEAD of these costly disorders by using leading indicators and addressing risk. All programs have a reactive component, but programs with a proactive focus, including prevention through design, see the most benefit. Keep your people at work, healthy and safe, with good design, custom training programs and good ergonomics!
Data taken from: https://www.bls.gov/