The terms “Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSDs)”, “Musculoskeletal Strain Injuries (MSIs)”, and “Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs)” are used to describe conditions that are caused or aggravated by workplace activities. These painful disorders affect the muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons and occur in a number of professions, including sonography. Unlike acute injuries that happen in the workplace, such as slips, trips, and falls, WRMSDs develop gradually over a period of time from repeated exposure to a variety of risk factors and may be painful during work or at rest. Musculoskeletal disorders resulting from work activities are among the most frequently reported causes of restricted or lost work time.1 They cost employers up to $20 billion yearly in direct costs such as Worker’s Compensation and medical expenses, and up to five times that in indirect costs such as lost revenue, absenteeism, and costs related to hiring and training new employees.2 WRMSDs also often impose a substantial personal toll on those affected since they may no longer be able to work or perform simple personal tasks and activities of daily living.2 In sonography, workforce shortages can affect worker morale and patient access to care in addition to the physical health and well-being of staff.
Excerpt from the Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in Sonography white paper.
1. Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Workplace. Occupational Safety and Health Administration 2016. Available at: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ergonomics/. Accessed July 17, 2016.
2. Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders. Occupational Safety and Health Administration 2016. Available at: https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_ document?p_table=UNIFIED_AGENDA&p_id=4481. Accessed July 8, 2016.