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Designing Jobs to Fit Workers through the Science of Ergonomics 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 and costly injuries.

Lansing, MI – WEBWIRE

A well-designed work environment can dramatically reduce risk factors for MSDs while improving efficiencies and reducing costs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has shared data showing that as recently as 2015 there were 356,910 musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) reported that year. These cases accounted for 31% of all nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work. The BLS also reported that of the total MSD cases, 80% occurred with private industry workers. This resulted in an incidence rate of 29.8 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2015, down from 31.9 cases the previous year. Private industry workers who sustained an MSD required a median of 12 days (down from 13 days in 2014) to recuperate before returning to work.
While the number of MSD cases improved slightly from 2014 to 2015, these numbers are still staggering and bring to light the importance of preventing new occupational cases through the science of ergonomics. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports, “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.”
On the frontlines working to protect employees from musculoskeletal disorders are Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs). “A well-designed work environment can dramatically reduce risk factors for MSDs while improving efficiencies and reducing costs,” said Jeffrey Miller, PhD, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “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.”
Ergonomics is just one of many core competencies that are part of the Certified Industrial Hygienist’s skillset that can be instrumental in reducing MSDs. In addition to ergonomics and other competencies, a CIH® must be proficient in his/her knowledge of work environments and industrial processes, health risk analysis, and hazard communication to be awarded the prestigious credential.
To learn more about the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®, the Certified Industrial Hygienist® credential, or to locate a CIH® to perform industrial hygiene services, please visit, email , 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 organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. ABIH® is the premier credentialing body responsible for ensuring high-quality certification including education, experience, examination, certification maintenance, and ethics enforcement. Currently, more than 6900 people in 32 countries are certified to use the CIH® credential. ABIH® also administers the Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP®) credential for established environmental practitioners and the Environmental Professional In-Training (EPI) designation for early-career practitioners.

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 Industrial Hygiene
 musculoskeletal disorders

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