Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Musculoskeletal Injury

The SDMS is concerned about the dramatic and ever-increasing impact of musculoskeletal injury (MSI) within the sonography profession. Below are resources that provide support and assistance to SDMS members, as well as to other interested persons such as equipment manufacturers and employers.

OSHA Launches Sonographer eTool

On October 3, 2008 the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued a news release announcing the availability of a new Sonography eTool designed to help sonographers reduce their risk from work-related musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSD’s). This work product is the result of a collaborative effort between OSHA and the SDMS, and was produced, in part, as a result of SDMS’s participation as an OSHA Alliance partner. Joan Baker, MSR, RDMS, RDCS, FSDMS, who served as the Society’s lead representative on the OSHA/SDMS Alliance, and chaired the Sonography eTool development group, described the Sonography eTool as; “A very comprehensive and robust source of information for helping sonographers reduce their risk of WRMSD”.

Further, Baker states; “The Sonography eTool addresses the responsibilities of both the employer and employee in reducing WRMSD rates in the sonographer population, and states very clearly what are considered to be the acceptable ergonomic and appropriate room and equipment setups for sonographers to perform their work. The availability of the Sonography eTool also makes it possible for sonographers to direct their employers to this government document as a credible and reliable source of information.”

The Sonography eTool is broken out into four major sections:
  • Transporting Patients and Equipment
  • Positioning Patients and Equipment
  • Use and Orientation of Ultrasound Equipment
  • Engineering, Administrative and Work Practice Controls

You can access the OSHA Hospital eTool Sonography Module on the OSHA website at

New OSHA "It's the Law" Poster Available

An updated version of the OSHA “It’s the Law” poster is now available. The poster, which is free of charge, is available in English ( and Spanish ( on the OSHA Web site and can also be ordered from the OSHA publications office at (202) 693-1888 or 1-800-321-OSHA. The OSHA poster must be displayed in every workplace in United States. 

Preventing Occupational Injury Among Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has published an article on OSHA and preventing occupational injury among sonographers. Click on Preventing Occupational Injury for more information. 

SDMS/OSHA Form Alliance for Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders

The SDMS and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have signed a formal Alliance Partnership agreement. This Alliance document addresses SDMS/OSHA collaboration on the provision of resources and information to SDMS members and others within the medical community on issues related to the reduction and prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).

OSHA and the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography Achieve Their Goal

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ended its alliance with the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) which was created to protect sonographers' health and safety, particularly by reducing or preventing work-related musculoskeletal injuries.

“Through the Alliance, we have shared expertise and information on safety and health issues through OSHA's exhibiting at SDMS conferences and SDMS representatives providing input to OSHA during the development of the Agency's Sonography Module of the OSHA Hospital eTool,” stated Steven F. Witt, Director of Cooperative and State Programs.

“While the agreement is [ending] … OSHA looks forward to continuing to work together with SDMS to address workplace safety and health issues through other collaborative efforts, including SDMS's continued participation on the editorial board of the OSHA Hospital eTool,” stated Witt.

OSHA created the Alliance Program to enable organizations committed to safety and health to work with OSHA to prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace. OSHA and Alliance Program participants work together to reach out to, educate, and lead the nation’s employers and their employees in advancing workplace safety and health.

SDMS Responds to Major Workforce Issue 

The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) hosted a Consensus Conference on Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSD) in Sonography on May 13-14, 2003 in Dallas, Texas. Joan P. Baker, MSR, RDMS, RDCS, FSDMS, chaired this project to develop risk-reducing industry standards that serve to address the multifaceted problem of WRMSD in sonography. These industry standards address the role of employees, employers, educators, medical facilities, and equipment manufacturers in reducing the incidence/impact of these injuries on the workforce. These industry standards will also assist all stakeholders in making informed decisions. The final industry standards will be disseminated worldwide. 

Ultrasound Ergonomics

whitepaper provided by Siemens Medical, discusses work related musculoskeletal disorders.