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Workers’ Compensation for Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders are among the most common and preventable injuries in Atlanta workplaces. Most musculoskeletal disorders that are covered under workers’ compensation programs occur as a result of sudden trauma or repetitive stress.

These injuries can have a debilitating effect on a worker’s health and ability to return to work. An international study published in The Lancet finds that musculoskeletal diseases are the second-greatest cause of disability worldwide. The study also finds that back pain is the most disabling condition across the world.

Musculoskeletal disorders can include sprains, strains and muscular tears that occur as a result of trauma or injury in the workplace. The Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers of Parsons & Associates, P.C., LLC, find that many such injuries occur during falls.

Musculoskeletal disorders can also include more long-term injuries as a result of repetitive stress or cumulative trauma. Repetitive stress injuries occur when a set of muscles is put through excessive and consistent pressure without a break, resulting in the wearing out of tendons and muscles and causing pain, cramps and other symptoms of trauma. For instance, a worker who is engaged in repetitive and continuous activities that require him to frequently lift his arms above his head, bend and stoop for long periods of time or perform other such repetitive activities is more likely to suffer chronic back pain and neck pain.

Musculoskeletal disorders can also lead to even more permanent, painful conditions like arthritis. Certain categories of workers, like older workers, may be at a higher risk of suffering such injuries.

Preventing musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace is a matter of introducing better ergonomics policies into the work environment. Employers must train workers to perform their activities efficiently, without straining specific muscles excessively and to use tools to reduce the physical strain on their bodies. Most important, employers must encourage workers to take frequent breaks from their routine to reduce the risk of such injuries.