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Preventing muscle injuries at the workplace

Every day, employees in South Carolina and elsewhere suffer various types of musculoskeletal disorders including carpal tunnel syndrome, back injuries and sprains. However, with proper training, these types of injuries can be reduced, which benefits employees and their employers alike.

When ergonomic principles are incorporated at the worksite, the likelihood for employees suffering musculoskeletal disorders greatly declines. Employees tend to stay healthier, happier and more productive. Meanwhile company losses resulting from workers' compensation claims, absenteeism and retraining new employees are decreased.

Since stress and strain are to blame for a great deal of on-the-job injuries, employees should be educated and trained in the five main risk factors that can lead to MSD: repetitive movements, poor posture, incorrect lifting, bending and using pressure or force, and working with vibrating tools. Employers can also reduce the chances for employees developing MSDs by improving the design of company workstations. Furthermore, it is a good idea for employees to develop smart habits at the workplace. For one thing, they can try lifting correctly to avoid spinal injuries. In addition, they should not kneel and squat for prolonged periods and avoid repetitively reaching overhead for items.

Employers are responsible to ensure they provide a safe working environment for all their employees. Therefore, whenever employees suffer workplace injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis or any other musculoskeletal disorder, they may exercise their right to file for workers' compensation benefits. Once the claim is processed, injured employees generally receive payments to cover a portion of their medical expenses and losses in wages while they were recuperating. The payments could also include the cost of rehabilitation and retraining if necessary. An experienced workers' compensation attorney may be able to assist injured employees with filing the claim and to make sure the amount of compensation they seek is fair.

Source: HR BLR, "Train Workers on Ergonomics to Minimize Risk of Injury", March 4, 2016

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Smith & Griffith, LLP
1102 North Main Street
Anderson, SC 29621

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