Across the United States every day, thousands upon thousands of workers are in pain owing to aggravated or strained muscles, nerves, discs, tendons, ligaments or blood vessels.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are the largest and costliest classification of workplace injuries and are responsible for 30% of all workers’ compensation costs.
What are common musculoskeletal injuries?
MSDs, which are also called repetitive motion injuries, comprise numerous injuries or disorders that inhibit the movement of your body, muscles and skeletal system. These include:
- Ruptured or herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Muscle and tendon strains
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Radial tunnel syndrome
MSDs are costly for workers and companies
A study by insurer Willis Towers Watson found 68% of 2,000 workers surveyed said their jobs either created their injury or aggravated an existing condition. Nearly 64% said their injury got worse due to their occupation, and about one-third said their employer was aware of their condition but failed to provide any support.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says MSDs are extremely costly for employers as well. The CDC estimates companies have spent $50 billion on direct costs, and possibly up to five times more for indirect costs, such as lost productivity and product defects.
Younger workers are most affected
The Willis Towers Watson study also focused on the ages of workers claiming MSD-related injuries. Many were surprised that older workers were not at the top of the list. The results show:
- 87% of 18-to-24-year-olds claimed their job contributed to their MSD, followed by:
- 80% of 25-to-34-year-olds
- 61% of 45-to-54-year-olds
- 58% of workers over age 55
Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial
MSDs may take years to develop from work-related causes, such as lifting objects and repetitive motions like typing. However, once symptoms show up, it’s vital for workers to go to the doctor and start physical therapy or other treatment to keep the injury from worsening.
Employers have a duty to provide a safe work environment, and workers injured on the job here in New Jersey may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. An experienced attorney can assist you in filing a claim and work to help you get the benefits you deserve.