Rising MSD Rates, Ergonomics and the Future of EHS

Ergonomics |
Written by Kevin Lombardo

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) released a bombshell report tracking the state of workplace safety over a 16-year period and announced, among other findings, that musculoskeletal disorders among workers had increased by some 20% over that period.

So why are MSD rates increasing, and what can employers do about it?

That’s one of the main topics of discussion for the latest episode of the DORN Injury Prevention Academy Podcast, featuring a very special guest, DORN CEO and President Kevin Lombardo.

Catch the podcast here:

Kevin brings over 20 years of experience to the EHS field, along with a deep range of insight gleaned from serving as a senior executive for large corporations across different industries. With significant experience in the health care industry, Kevin is uniquely equipped to explore the forces driving change in the world of workplace safety, including today’s pressing MSD risks, innovative ergonomic tools, cutting-edge technology and more.

In this episode, we covered:

  • How MSDs affect productivity and employers’ bottom lines as well as workers’ health and long-term well-being

  • Why ergonomics are a key field that holds answers to many of today’s workplace safety risks

  • Common mistakes employers make when implementing and maintaining an ergonomics program

  • The evolution of workplace safety into holistic wellness that includes mental health support

  • Technology and other tools that will form the foundation of EHS strategies in the coming years

Understanding the MSD Problem

Musculoskeletal disorders aren’t just a problem for workers—they’re also tremendously costly for businesses and organizations, with employer costs related to MSDs in the U.S. reaching up to $54 billion each year. Strains and sprains, along with tears, back pain, and other overexertion injuries come with indirect costs related to missed time and decreased productivity, not to mention effects on workers’ mental wellness.

How can employers combat MSDs? Start with an ergonomic assessment.

Organizations have a wealth of tools at their disposal to help mitigate injury risks and cut rates of MSDs among their employees. 

Ergonomic assessments are an especially potent solution for employers in large part because they contribute to overall preparedness and risk management. By analyzing workspaces, departments, and entire facilities, certified ergonomists can identify workplace hazards and create fixes that decrease risk and improve injury outcomes. Likewise, ergonomic assessments can identify issues in employees’ task techniques and physical behaviors that, when properly adjusted, can both improve productivity and cut down on injury rates.

By combining ergonomic evaluations and assessments with biomechanics training, employee support resources, and other tools, employers can develop holistic solutions to their injury problems that encompass all aspects of the worker’s experience on the job. 

Looking to get your organization up to speed with an ergonomic assessment? Contact DORN Companies today for a free consultation to discover how we can help you meet your safety goals for 2023 and beyond:

Watch the episode on YouTube and make sure to subscribe to the DORN Companies channel!

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About the Author

Kevin Lombardo

CEO & President at DORN Companies
Kevin is Senior Executive and widely recognized thought leader in workers’ compensation and Total Worker Wellness with a focus on workplace injury prevention and on-site innovative therapy solutions.
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