• John Larrimer

What Can I Do About Joint Injuries in the Workplace?

Many factory workers have jobs that require them to use forceful and repetitive hand motions. These demanding hand and wrist movements build up over time and cause stress to joints and hand functions. Jobs such as poultry processing and other packing jobs have a high percentage of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, arthritis, and osteoporosis.

A 2014 report conducted by the Health Hazard Evaluation Program found that 34 percent of workers in a poultry plant had carpal tunnel syndrome, and 76 percent were found to have abnormal nerve conduction results. Many factors lead to these problems. Processing plants were found to lack in job rotation schedules, employees had to reach above their shoulders to use sharpeners, and workstation platforms were not adjustable. There are guidelines employers need to follow for worker health, and workers compensation is there to help you with joint injuries.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration Regulations for Processing Plants

  1. Management support: OSHA requires managers to provide safety recognition by communicating the importance of worker safety and health, committing adequate resources to working condition research, providing safety training for MSDs, and encouraging the early reporting of MSD symptoms.

  2. Identifying risk factors: The repetition of the same or similar motions can cause joint stress. Understaffing and overworking workers can cause MSDs. Sustained awkward body positions, using tools that emit vibrations, and cold temperatures cause MSDs. OSHA requires employers to locate and minimize these risks.

  3. Administer solutions: Providing changes to equipment, techniques, and staffing procedures can help minimize risk for joint diseases.

If your employer is not invested in providing process improvements for MSD safety, contacting OSHA for a worksite inspection could be a good idea for your workplace. If you have been injured in a processing plant, a Columbus workers comp attorney can get you the coverage you deserve.

#WorkplaceSafety

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