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Ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders

New York employees do not have to be involved in manual labor to face a risk of musculoskeletal disorders at their jobs. Although manual labor can pose high risks of MSDs, there are certain risk factors that can affect office workers and others whose jobs are not physically demanding. It is important for employers to recognize the importance of good ergonomic practices to ensure that employee absences and workers' compensation claims are minimized.

Training is an important preventive tool, allowing an employer to familiarize workers with optimum practices for limiting the risk of suffering MSDs on the job. As injuries are reduced, productivity can also be improved. Some of the most serious issues that can lead to musculoskeletal injuries include repetition, force, vibration, contact stress and awkward postures. It is important for workers to keep these factors in mind as they perform their jobs.

It is also important to provide training on proper postures and techniques for activities such as lifting. Workstation designs should be evaluated to ensure that they promote good ergonomics. It is also important to develop strategies such as rotation of tasks to limit prolonged exposure to repetitive activities or awkward positions.

Although workers' compensation is most commonly associated with injuries resulting from a workplace accident, benefits can also be paid to workers who develop carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive motion injuries as well. As the connection between a work environment and the onset of these injuries can sometimes be challenging to prove, many workers who have been injured in this manner obtain the assistance of an attorney when documenting their claims.

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