Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect millions of workers across industries every year, inflicting billions of dollars in costs to employers and putting hundreds of thousands of workers at risk for missed work days and the need for prescription pain medication. Injuries to the hands and wrists are especially common, and workers who regularly use their hands to accomplish repetitive or difficult tasks are at high risk for disorders such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which affects between 4 and 10 million American workers every year.
While the costs can be severe, new advances in workplace safety technology and on-site therapy provide scalable, reliable methods for reducing injuries and rates of MSDs. Recently, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) raised the threshold limit value (TLV) that had been established to monitor exertion of the hands during a shift. That value is now used to create limits at workplaces on how much hand-focused work an employee should do during a shift, aiming to curb overexertion and repetitive strain that leads to CTS. Staggeringly, CTS is also among the most potent drivers of opioid pain prescriptions, placing second in the list of contributors to medication usage, making this MSD type a major target for managers looking to reduce risk and overhead costs.
Engaging directly with employees through on-site monitoring and technique training can illuminate areas of risk for wrist and hand injuries, allowing providers to use trusted pain relief techniques and deep tissue therapies to tackle these costly afflictions. Deployed with these on-site solutions, wearable technology that tracks worker exertion can help isolate high-risk tasks and other problem areas, giving managers insight into the dangers their employees face at work. Utilized together, these strategies can dramatically cut injury and MSD rates, relieve chronic pain, and prevent absenteeism and claims—all major drivers of costs.
“Optimal results are achieved when you combine the best of onsite solutions with the best technology. Here at DORN, we are committed to being the industry leaders in both and delivering this to our clients.”
– David Graeff, Director of Program Development and Solutions Implementations, DORN Companies
The American Society of Safety Professionals recently published a blog highlighting the risks of hand and wrist injuries at work, evaluating the effects of the new CTS prevention guidelines. Click to read the article and learn more about how these repetitive strain injuries can affect operations and budgets.