Musculoskeletal Disorders & Ergonomics

This page covers the following topics:

  • Overview
  • Risk Factors for Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Ergonomic Job Analysis
  • Specific Ergonomic Solutions
  • Ergonomically Effective Work Processes
  • Additional Information


Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, and tendons. Workers in many different industries and occupations can be exposed to risk factors at work, such as lifting heavy items, bending, reaching overhead, pushing and pulling heavy loads, working in awkward body postures, and performing the same or similar tasks repetitively. Exposure to these known risk factors for MSDs increases a worker's risk of injury.

Work-related MSDs can be prevented. Ergonomics—fitting a job to a person—helps lessen muscle fatigue, increases productivity, and reduces the number and severity of work-related MSDs. Ergonomics is the scientific study of people at work. The goal of ergonomics is to reduce stress and eliminate injuries and musculoskeletal disorders associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repeated tasks. This is accomplished by designing tasks, work space, tools, and equipment to fit an employee's physical capabilities and limitations.

Making these changes can potentially reduce physical demands, eliminate unnecessary movements, reduce employee turnover, and increase work efficiency and productivity.   

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