Workers in various industries in Ohio do jobs that take a toll on their muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, blood vessels and discs. Regardless of the industry in which you earn your income, some or most of your tasks could lead to musculoskeletal disorders. Other terms used include repetitive stress injuries, repetitive motion injuries and overuse injuries.
MSDs include an endless list of disorders, like carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, tendonitis and more. Health authorities have determined that work-related risk factors and individual risk factors contribute to the development of MSDs
Individual risk factors
If you do not take care of your body, you will put yourself at risk of developing chronic health problems. If you take care of the following, you will lessen the risk of causing long-term damage:
- Poor rest and recovery: If you do not afford yourself sufficient time to rest and recover after each work shift, the fatigue will outrun the recovery system of your body. Once that happens, it is not easily recoverable.
- Overall health: Smoking, too much alcohol, obesity and other unhealthy habits will increase your MSD risks along with other chronic diseases that could limit your life span.
- Nutrition, hydration and fitness: Healthy eating habits and sufficient hydration can eliminate any risks of malnourishment and dehydration. If you are out of breath after climbing one flight of stairs, it might be an indication that you need more healthy activities to improve your fitness.
- Poor work practices: If you do not practice safe lifting techniques and put unnecessary stress on your body, you will increase fatigue and soon develop MSDs
Managing these risk factors is up to you, but work-related risk factors are up to your employer, who is responsible for protecting your health and safety in the workplace.
Work-related risk factors
The design of your workstation plays a significant role in your well-being, and if your tasks exceed the capabilities and limitations of your body, MSDs can follow. The following risks can cause more fatigue than what your recovery system can manage:
- Sustaining awkward body postures: If your job requires you to maintain awkward body postures repetitively or for long periods, some of your joints will bear excessive force, and this could overload the tendons and muscles around affected joints.
- Forceful exertions: When your tasks require you to use high force, the excessive effort will fatigue the muscles used. This contributes to fatigue, which could lead to MSDs
- High task repetition: If your job requires you to make repetitive motions without frequent breaks, chances of suffering MSDs increase significantly. The damage could multiply if you perform the repetitive movements in awkward body postures and require force to do them.
Safety authorities say any motion that is repeated for longer than 30 seconds qualifies as highly repetitive.
In most cases, MSDs develop over time, and the fact that there is no specific date on which your injury occurred means that proving MSDs to be work-related injuries might not be easy. For this reason, victims of MSDs seek the support and guidance of an attorney who has experience in dealing with the Ohio workers' compensation insurance system and will fight for maximum applicable benefits for workers with progressive occupational injuries.