Identify Ergonomic Hazards to Prevent Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders
The American Board of Industrial Hygiene® (ABIH®) reminds workers and industry to avoid ergonomic hazards to help prevent debilitating injuries.
Management’s support in reducing or eliminating ergonomic hazards and MSDs is essential, and using the expertise of a CIH® to identify and resolve these workplace issues is often a critical part of the solution.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has stated that 387,820 musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) were reported in 2011, which accounted for 33% of all worker injury and illness cases that year. This staggering number brings to light the importance of preventing MSDs in the workplace through the science of ergonomics.
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), “Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. In the workplace, the number and severity of MSDs resulting from physical overexertion, as well as their associated costs, can be substantially reduced by applying ergonomic principles. Implementing an ergonomic process has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of developing MSDs in industries as diverse as construction, food processing, office jobs, healthcare, beverage delivery and warehousing.”
On the frontline of protecting workers from musculoskeletal disorders are Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs). CIHs are trained to identify hazards in work environments and industrial processes. This knowledge is instrumental in helping employers conduct comprehensive worksite analyses and creating ergonomic solutions to resolve hazards that can lead to MSDs.
“A properly designed work environment can dramatically reduce risk factors for MSDs while improving efficiencies and reducing overall costs,” said Nicole Greeson, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “Management’s support in reducing or eliminating ergonomic hazards and MSDs is essential, and using the expertise of a CIH® to identify and resolve these workplace issues is often a critical part of the solution.”
Ergonomics is just one of many core competencies that are part of the Certified Industrial Hygienist’s skillset that can help reduce MSDs. In addition to ergonomics and other competencies, a CIH® must be proficient in his/her knowledge of work environments and industrial processes to be awarded the prestigious credential.
To learn more about the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®, Certified Industrial Hygienist® credential or to locate a CIH® to perform industrial hygiene services, please visit www.ABIH.org, email abih@ABIH.org or call (517) 321-2638.
About the American Board of Industrial Hygiene ®
Since 1960, ABIH®, a not-for-profit corporation, has been the world’s largest, premier organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. ABIH® is responsible for ensuring high-quality certification including education, experience, examination, certification maintenance and ethics enforcement. Currently, more than 6800 people are certified to use the CIH® designation.
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