Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Workplace injuries costly to economy, workers

High incidence of MSD in workplace ...

"Musculoskeletal disorders. They sound trifling compared to terminal cancers caused by toxic chemicals or crippling incidents that put workers in wheelchairs for life. Few Canadians even know what they are. In real life, however, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can be devastating, as this example illustrates:

- An assembly line worker tries dulling the pain of an agonizing repetitive strain injury with prescription drugs. He knows if he complains, he will be taken off the job. Despite two surgeries, the swelling in his arm has never subsided.

An extreme case? Perhaps, but a shocking reality is one in 10 Canadian adults experiences a musculoskeletal disorder serious enough to limit basic movements the rest of us take for granted.

Most of the 2.3 million Canadians experiencing MSDs -- also known as repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) or musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) -- are hurt at work.

The economic costs are also huge, estimated at $26 billion annually. Most MSD-related costs aren't covered by employers operating unsafe workplaces, but by Canadian taxpayers.

Despite a golden opportunity to prevent injuries to hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers, most governments have not yet taken decisive action on MSDs."    (Continued via Durham Region News)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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