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It Didn't Have To Happen 1990 MassCOSH and Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents

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Published on Sep 16, 2012

The workers in this video suffer from cumulative trauma disorders caused by or made worse by conditions on their jobs. They give voice to the tragic effects of these disorders on workers lives. They are examples of the nearly 1 million people in the US each year report taking time away from work to treat and recover from musculoskeletal pain or loss of function due to overexertion or repetitive motion either in the low back or upper extremities. These include both musculoskeletal disorders to which the work environment and the performance of work contribute significantly or musculoskeletal disorders that are made worse or longer lasting by work conditions. These workplace risk factors, along with personal characteristics (e.g., physical limitations or existing health problems) and societal factors, are thought to contribute to the development of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. They also reduce worker productivity or cause worker dissatisfaction. Common examples are jobs requiring repetitive, forceful, or prolonged exertions of the hands; frequent or heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying of heavy objects; and prolonged awkward postures. Vibration and cold may add risk to these work conditions. Jobs or working conditions presenting multiple risk factors will have a higher probability of causing a musculoskeletal problem. The level of risk depends on the intensity, frequency, and duration of the exposure to these conditions and the individual s capacity to meet the force or other job demands that might be involved. These conditions are called by different terms, including cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs). Worker involvement in safety and health issues means obtaining worker input on several issues. The first input is defining real or suspected job hazards. Another is suggesting ways to control suspected hazards. A third involves working with management in deciding how best to put controls into place. This clip focuses on the first input. Additional clips focus on workers and their unions suggesting controls and putting controls in place. For more information on ergonomic hazards and worker involvement in their identification and control, go to the Hazard Magazine website, Tackling Works Strains and Pains, at http://www.hazards.org/strains/index.htm . This video was made by the nonprofit Massachusetts Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) and the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. MassCOSH is one of more than 20 COSH Groups in the US which form the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health ("The National COSH" website http://www.coshnetwork.org ). The National COSH is a federation of local and statewide "COSH" groups--Committees/Coalitions on Occupational Safety and Health. COSH groups are private, non-profit coalitions of labor unions, health and technical professionals, and others interested in promoting and advocating for worker health and safety.

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