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Musculoskeletal Injuries and How to Prevent Them

According to 2015 WCB data, 5,824 Manitobans are injured by an MSI per year.

A musculoskeletal injury (MSI) can be seen when muscles, tendons, discs, nerves or joints are damaged or aggravated in the musculoskeletal system.

An MSI can affect anyone, but they occur most often in healthcare, trades, manufacturing, construction and service industries. Take a look at the top 3 causes of MSIs below to ensure that you’re being proactive in preventing injuries.

Forceful Exertions 
When tools are poorly maintained or become damaged, you often have to use more force in order to complete a job. For example, if your pliers are dull or your screwdriver is worn, you need to use more strength for the tools to work as they should. The more force is used on a job means more muscular effort, and as a result, more fatigued muscles that could lead to an MSI. Keep your gear up to date and in working order to eliminate using more force than needed on the job.

Working in Awkward Positions
Any position maintained for a long period of time can put strain on your body, but this strain is amplified when working in small spaces or awkward positions. Your body’s range of motion gets pushed the limit when performing a task in a space that is difficult to work in, which puts additional stress on your nerves and tendons.

Repetitive Motions
When you’re using the same joints and muscles to perform a job over and over again, it puts strain on your musculoskeletal system. Factor in pressure to complete a job quickly, these motions in quick succession can exacerbate the injury. When performing repetitive tasks, it’s important to take breaks and ensure you’re giving your body time to adjust and recover.

For more information on MSI prevention, check out SAFE Work Manitoba’s MSI Prevention Strategy.