Workplace musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are more of a problem than most people realize. While they can happen to anyone in any workplace, they are especially prevalent among factory and warehouse workers.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos highlighted WMSDs in his final letter to shareholders before stepping aside. It may help bring the issue to broader attention.
What is a workplace musculoskeletal disorder?
WMSDs are injuries to your muscles, bones, tendons or nerves. The term does not refer to cuts and bone breaks but to injuries due to repetition or poor ergonomics.
An ergonomic workplace is one where things are arranged to make it easy for the human body to perform the required tasks. Manufacturing companies have spent millions designing their workplaces to maximize production. Yet, increased production efficiency can come at a human cost.
Manufacturers realized long ago that it was more efficient to have each worker perform one element of a task in an assembly line rather than complete the whole task. What they did not account for is the effect this repetition has on the human body.
Improving ergonomics costs a company money. Yet, failing to do so also costs them money. When workers suffer a WSMD, they need to take time off work which costs the employer. If lots of employees need to claim workers’ compensation insurance, it results in increased insurance premiums.
When you have a workplace injury, assert your right to workers’ compensation
Until companies take ergonomics more seriously, WMSDs will continue to affect too many workers. If you are feeling the strain on your body it is crucial to take action to claim the compensation you need to get medical care and replacement wages. Seek help to understand the necessary steps for an effective workers’ compensation claim. Carrying on regardless will only make your condition worse.