Washington — In a push to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders, the National Safety Council is calling on employers across all industries to sign a pledge to improve workplace safety, reduce MSD risk and enhance worker well-being.
The most common workplace injury, MSDs – such as tendinitis, back strains and sprains, and carpal tunnel syndrome – affect nearly a quarter of the world’s population and are the leading cause of worker disability, early retirement and limitations to gainful employment, according to NSC.
The MSD Pledge, launched June 2 to help kick off National Safety Month, is aimed at reducing occupational MSD injuries by 25% by 2025. Participation is free and open to any employer who’s committed to identifying and reducing risks of MSD injuries and creating a culture of safety at work.
“These injuries truly hit home, which is why safety is real. It’s personal,” Paul Vincent, executive vice president of workplace practice at NSC, said during a Workplace Safety Summit hosted by NSC. “And addressing MSDs is crucial to fostering safer workplaces, healthier communities and prosperous businesses.”
Organizations that sign the MSD Pledge promise to:
- Reduce risks by analyzing the causes of MSD injuries across operations, and investing in solutions and practices that reduce risks to workers.
- Innovate and collaborate by leveraging best practices, and sharing learnings and countermeasures to expand on innovations to improve safety practices.
- Build an organizational culture that values safety by promoting a workplace where safety excellence, transparency and accurate reporting are equally valued, and where everyone, at every level of the organization, is accountable for the safety and health of workers.
The initiative comes a year after NSC announced a five-year partnership with Amazon to develop new ways to prevent MSDs. More than 15 organizations have joined the council and Amazon in signing the pledge – developed by the MSD Solutions Lab, which was established as part of the partnership.
In addition to having access to free resources, MSD Pledge members can participate in the MSD Solutions Index, an annual company index that analyzes the benefits of the pledge over time. The index will aggregate data on risk reduction strategies, workplace safety culture, and innovation and collaboration, while also identifying areas for targeted action and uncovering trends to inform future approaches. Members also benefit from free events, training and coaching opportunities from NSC’s team of ergonomics experts, as well as opportunities to share best practices and lessons learned with one another.
“Ergonomics and MSDs are something that affect everyone, whether it’s in the workplace or in your everyday life,” Michelle Garner-Janna, executive director of corporate health, safety and environment at Cummins Inc., said during the summit. “Across every industry, large organizations, small organizations, it’s literally a part of life. So I think it’s just extremely important that we have strategies on how to make improvements in those areas.”
Said NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin: “While there are no sirens associated with MSDs, their impact is alarming and the damage does not stop when workers leave for the day. At NSC, our mission is not only to save lives, but also to prevent injuries, and we are asking employers everywhere to join the MSD Pledge and keep workers safe, so they can spend more time doing the things they love with the people they love – which is precisely what this month, National Safety Month, represents.”