Employees in various jobs are exposed to workplace risks that may lead to a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). Workplace MSD risks can include, but are not limited to: lifting, bending, reaching, working with awkward body postures or performing repetitive tasks. MSDs can thus affect the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments or tendons.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in their 2015 Economic News Release that MSDs accounted for 32% of all workplace injury and illness cases (>400,000 annual injuries). The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has documented that MSDs are also the leading cause of pain, suffering and disability in American workplaces, and total estimated health care costs of MSDs is >$45 billion annually. The highest risk occupations for MSDs are registered nurses, nursing assistants and psychiatric aides. Typical MSD injuries include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Muscle strains, and
- Lower back injuries
To support healthy lifestyles for our staff and clients, Altarum Institute applies Ergonomics principles. Ergonomics is meant to help “fit” the workstation to a person, versus having the worker awkwardly adjust their posture – which can often cause MSD injuries. Altarum’s Ergonomics programs are thus designed to help prevent workplace MSDs by minimizing muscle fatigue, increasing productivity, and reducing injury severity.
We employ Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialists (CEAS®) and in collaboration with The Back School, a health and safety training organization, Altarum is co-sponsoring CEAS training at our Washington, DC facility in April 2017. The CEAS course trainer will be Mr. Ronald Porter, Director of The Back School, and this training is designed to teach attendees how to perform an OSHA compliant ergonomics analysis. Additionally, the CEAS training will teach participants how to identify potential MSD workplace hazards and will provide cost-effective solutions to prevent MSD-related injuries (e.g., adjusting computer monitors or chair height).
For further information regarding Altarum’s Ergonomics programs or our co-sponsorship of this CEAS training, please contact Marshall Contino at 202-741-1536 (or email at: Marshall.Contino@altarum.org).