Prevention and Medical Management

A key in prevention of MSDs is early recognition. Clues to early diagnosis can be found in the workplace in the following ways:

1. Review of company injury logs for cases typical of repetitive motion injuries

2. Assessment of jobs or work conditions that cause worker complaints of pain symptoms, fatigue, or paresthesias

3. Frequent references to physical aches and pains related to certain types of work assignments by workers visiting the clinic

4. Job tasks involving activities that are known to be associated with MSDs

Astute clinicians may be able to identify patterns and help bring them to the attention of employers so ergonomic preventive strategies can be developed at the work-site through safety committees, musculoskeletal symptoms surveys, and work-site evaluations for ergonomic risk factors. Preventive strategies include the following:

1. Providing proper tools that decrease pressure points and vibration by providing adequate padding

2. Reducing activities with high repetition or increase recovery time

3. Evaluating work-sites and practices to ensure proper body positions

4. Engineering ergonomic hazards—the preferred strategy but it is often not feasible economically (54,55)

When an injury or pain disorder does occur, temporary restrictions that decrease the amount and duration of ergonomic hazards and increase the rest cycles, job rotations that alternate time spent in activities involving alternative movements and postures, and recovery time allowed each hour can be provided along with work practice modification. Shorter and more frequent breaks are more effective than less frequent but longer breaks (Table 24.3).

0 0

Post a comment