Managers, department size plays role in controlling MSDs
Reducing musculoskeletal disorders in your workplace may have more to do with the quality of your managers and the size of your departments, rather than the training and ergonomics education you provide.
A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP of public sector workers in the United Kingdom found that employees who reported more MSD-related absences -- such as back and neck pain -- tended to work in larger teams and have poorer quality of feedback from their managers. Researchers found no relationship between musculoskeletal-related absences and whether the individuals had received ergonomics training.
For employees who had no absences due to an MSD, the average department or team size was 14 workers, compared to 53 employees for individuals who reported three or more musculoskeletal-related days away from the job. Of those with no absences, 70 percent said they were satisfied with the regular constructive feedback that their manager provided. This figure fell to 33 percent for individuals who had three or more MSD-related absences.
June 15, 2009
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