Modern Occupational Diseases Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Management and Prevention

Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders

Author(s): Ming-Lun Lu*, Brian D. Lowe, Ninica L. Howard, Alysha R. Meyers, Robert R. Fox, Ren G. Dong and Brent A. Baker

Pp: 287-353 (67)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815049138122010018


 In most industrialized countries, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are a major occupational health problem resulting in productivity loss, employee absenteeism, and high workers’ compensation and healthcare costs. Understanding the etiology and control of WMSDs and associated risk factors is imperative for reducing the burden of this problem. This chapter is organized by five topics on WMSDs: (1) the problem and surveillance of WMSDs; (2) the etiology of WMSDs and their risk factors; (3) risk assessment methods for job-related physical risk factors; (4) risk intervention effectiveness; and (5) ergonomic guidelines and standards for the prevention of WMSDs. The authors focus on the breadth of the scientific knowledge and literature pertaining to WMSDs for occupational safety and health professionals interested in learning about the field of ergonomics. This chapter also provides anticipated future challenges in the areas of surveillance, risk interactions, risk assessments, and intervention evaluations. The research agenda for WMSDs published by the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Musculoskeletal Health Cross-Sector (MUS) Council in 2018 is recommended as supplementary reading for the future direction of WMSD research.

Keywords: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders, Ergonomics, Occupational safety and health, Surveillance, Biomechanics, Vibration, Pathomechanics, Psychosocial factors, Job risk assessment.

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