Most Massachusetts’ residents encounter some form of hazards while working, regardless of what type of job they are performing. The risks are obvious when working at a construction site or industrial site, but even office buildings can become dangerous if an employer does not maintain a safe working environment. Workplace accidents such as slips and falls can take place at any workspace.
Similarly, if performing the same tasks repetitively or at an awkward position, something as simple as lifting objects or pushing and pulling loads or even reaching overhead, can lead to musculoskeletal disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and muscle strains and back injuries. These are factors known to cause MSDs and increase the risk factor of developing the disorder that can affect blood vessels, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Work-related MSDs are perhaps the most common reason workers take time off from work or have to restrict their working time-in 2013 they accounted for around 33 percent of all worker illness and injury cases.
As mentioned above, providing a safe working environment is the employer’s duty. This means it is an employer’s duty to reduce the cases of MSDs that arise from overexertion by applying ergonomics-the process of fitting the job to the person. This can be beneficial in reducing the instances of MSDs in many sectors, from office jobs to transportation and construction. Viewed as an ongoing function, it requires commitment from the management to ensure goals are being met and involvement by employees so solutions can be created that target their concerns.
It is an employee’s right to be employed in a safe and healthful working environment. When that right is violated and a worker in injured in a workplace accident, it may be possible to recover workers’ compensation from the negligent employer.