Musculoskeletal Health Program
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    "What are our priorities? The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Musculoskeletal Health Program works with partners in industry, labor, trade associations, professional organizations, and academia to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs are soft-tissue injuries caused by sudden or sustained exposure to repetitive motion, force, vibration, and awkward positions. What do we do? 1. Surveillance: Locate and use unique sources of surveillance data (including surveys, insurance and workers compensation data), to identify and prioritize areas of needed MSD research for underserved worker populations. 2. Intervention Effectiveness: Develop and evaluate cost-effective interventions to prevent or minimize MSDs in the work-place. Many businesses with jobs with a high rate of MSDs (e.g., manual material handlers, nursing assistants, and hotel housekeepers) do not have effective programs, technologies, and strategies available to prevent MSDs. 3. Communication: Share new information, control technologies, and prevention methods through a variety of formats tailored to the needs of specific worker and employer populations. What have we accomplished? 1. Evaluated the process of identifying standardized test procedures for using exoskeletons in industry settings with the Department of Defense, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other stakeholders. 2. Edited and contributed to special issue of peer-reviewed journal focusing on the impact of the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation, both domestically and internationally. 3. Conducted and reported on several studies on the transmissibility of vibration to the hands in mining and manufacturing industries while using vibration-reducing gloves. 4. Developed ErgoMine software, an ergonomics audit tool for the mining industry which provides recommendations for improvements. 5. Published a study on the assessment of self-reports of MSDs and the use of the revised NIOSH Lifting Equation to identify specific factors related to low back pain among a group of manufacturing workers. What's next? 1. Analyze survey data from three global professional ergonomist associations to understand how NIOSH risk assessment tools are being used. 2. Distribute a NIOSH-created mobile application to automate the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation calculations for determining safe manual material handling tasks. 3. Host a series of webinars on musculoskeletal health related topics including the use of wearable sensors to automate data collection and risk assessment of work tasks. 4. Conduct panel sessions at 3 scientific conferences to discuss advances and research on wearable sensor technology, exoskeletons and mobile applications of NIOSH-developed risk assessment tools." - NIOSHTIC-2

    NIOSHTIC no. 20050194

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