What Are the Risk Factors Associated with MSDs?
Workplace MSDs can be caused by frequent and prolonged exposure to the following risk factors:
|Awkward and Sustained Postures
||Posture is the position your body is in while muscle groups are involved in physical activity. Awkward postures include repeated or prolonged reaching, twisting, bending, kneeling, squatting, working overhead with your hands or arms, or holding fixed positions.
||Force is the amount of physical effort required to perform a task, such as heavy lifting or maintaining control of equipment or tools. The amount of force depends on the type of grip, the weight of an object, body postures, the types of activity and the duration of the task.
||Doing the same motions over and over again places stress on the muscles and tendons. The severity of risk depends on how often the action is repeated, the speed of the movement, the number of muscles involved, and the force required.
|| Continual exposure to a risk factor is considered duration. Job tasks that require use of the same muscles or motions for long durations increase the likelihood of both localized and general fatigue. The longer the period of continuous work, the longer the recovery or rest time required.
||Pressing the body against a hard or sharp edge can result in putting too much pressure on nerves, tendons, and blood vessels. For example, using your hand as a hammer can increase your risk of MSD.
||Operating vibrating tools such as sanders, grinders, chippers, routers, drills and saws can lead to nerve damage. Special padding or anti-vibration gloves can help. If possible, reduce the amount of time you spend working with vibration tools.
||Temperature extremes can also influence the magnitude of risk factors. As an example the use of gloves to keep hands warm may cause you to grip handtools more forcefully, resulting in added stress to the wrists and hands. Similarly, in a hot environment, sweating may increase the slipperiness of the tools.