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March 3, 2016

Repetitiveness Means Danger in the Workplace. Repetitiveness Means Danger in the Workplace!

Industrial Notices > Safety Awareness > Sign

There are many names for the physical consequences of performing the same motion over a long period of timerepetitive strain injuries, musculoskeletal disorders and cumulative trauma disorders to name a few. Many names, but they all mean potential turnover, losses in employee productivity and medical expenses for employers. 

What’s frightening is this can arise in any workplace where employees must perform the same motions on a consistent basis. Sound familiar? It might because there’s a risk of developing this type of injury in jobs as different as working on a computer at an office and installing ceiling tiles.*

Pain from repetitive stress most commonly occurs in the*:
  •     Neck
  •     Shoulders
  •     Forearms
  •     Hands
  •     Wrists
  •     Elbows
  •     Lower Limbs

Because problems manifest at different speeds and in different ways for each individual,
early detection and treatment can be a tall order. That’s why the best solution is confronting sources of repetitive stress before an injury can occur. After all, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. **
Naturally, the best way to address concerns you might have is to remove repetitive motions from the daily workload of employees; however, in many cases this simply isn’t possible.* Often the wisest and most popular route is to better focus your workplace on ergonomics (the science of workplace design that tries to make the job fit the person rather than the person fitting the job).*** 

A couple of resources that might be helpful in this are the ErgonomicsGuidelines for Manual Material Handling from NIOSH and this brief piece on Repetitive Motion Injury Prevention from Minot State University.

Wherever you choose to start, the important thing is simply that you do so before an employee is facing a muscle strain, a lower back injury, or a similar affliction. * 

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