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Manifestation and Impact

Question:

Discuss about the Muscoskeletal Disorders for Safety Culture and Issue.

The Modern workplace has undergone a lot of changes to help meet the demands brought about by changes in the labor market, the introduction of new technologies and workforce structures. With these new changes have come new challenges and risks to employee’s health and safety. Occupational diseases are health problems that arise as a result of a health hazard at the workplace (Quinlan, Bohle & Lamm, 2010). They include musculoskeletal disorders defined as injuries associated with the musculoskeletal system and which hinders effective body movement. Musculoskeletal disorders are quite prevalent among employees working in the manufacturing industry in developed countries (Kiadaliri, Woolf & Englund, 2017).  This, however, is not to mean that such are not common in developing countries with Manufacturing, mining and Agriculture industries being the most affected. This literature review is focused on the emerging trend of musculoskeletal disorders in the manufacturing industry.

To analyze the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in the manufacturing industry

To find out why of musculoskeletal disorders are a major issue in the Manufacturing industry

To find out the manifestation of musculoskeletal disorders in the industry

To analyze the harmful effects of musculoskeletal disorders among employees and the industry

To explore industrial practices focused on the elimination of musculoskeletal disorders i

To analyze of musculoskeletal disorders legislative requirements

The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in the manufacturing industry. The rate at which employees have been found to have fatal musculoskeletal disorders has been on the rise in the recent past. Not only have these increased but also their impact on companies in the industry has been enormous. The rate at which employees have been forced to stay away from work in order to recover has both been alarming and counterproductive to organizations (Fartasch, Diepgen, Schmitt & Drexler, 2012).  The manufacturing industry is made up of diverse workplaces such as textiles, plastics, and rubber, chemical, printing, metal fabrication, automotive, food and beverages among others. This means that workers in this industry have the possibility of being exposed to multiple health hazards that can lead to occupational diseases, injuries or even death in extreme cases. Some of the most common hazards in this industry include chemical exposure, noise related occupational diseases and musculoskeletal disorders (LEIGH, 2011).

Manifestation and impact. Musculoskeletal disorders in the manufacturing industry are largely attributed to musculoskeletal risk factors such as individual related factors and work-related factors. These factors result in fatigue on workers. Extreme body fatigue leads to a musculoskeletal imbalance which turns to musculoskeletal disorder with time. Among the most notable signs and symptoms of MSD’s include sleep disturbances, fatigue, and stiffness or aching of the body, muscle strain, twining of muscles among others (Sauter & Moon, 2014). a large number of manufacturing involves a significant percentage of physical work. For example, many a time employees are asked to perform tasks beyond their physical abilities which end up straining their muscles and outing them at risk of developing MSD’s. It has been found out that repeated performance of such jobs makes it impossible for an individual’s recovery system to sustain the fatigue resulting from such jobs. With the strenuous nature of multiple manufacturing Jobs, the development of musculoskeletal imbalance is quite high.Musculoskeletal imbalance ultimately leads to musculoskeletal disorder others (Sauter & Moon, 2014).

Risk Factors

Risk Factors: MSD’s risk factors are classified into ergonomic risk factors and personal risk factors. High task repetition is one of the ergonomic factors. High repetition of tasks such as tasks involving awkward postures or high force can be a cause for MSD’s. Many tasks in the manufacturing industry also involve forceful exertions.The strain on muscles as a result of high force loads causes fatigue which leads to MSD’s. Additionally, as a result of repetitive awkward positions, extreme force is placed on joints affecting muscles and tendons around the joints. This can also lead to MSD. Apart from ergonomic factors, personal factors such as poor work practices, poor hydration, fitness and nutrition, poor rest and recovery, poor health habits can lead to MSD’s (Nordander et al.,2011).

According to  (Ali Yusof & Adam, 2017) a total number of 5960 cases occupational diseases were reported in Malaysian Manufacturing industry in the year 2015.This was an increase from the 2648 cases that were reported in 2014, representing a  55.57% increase. Out of these cases, a total of 4034 were examined. The examination was intended to facilitate the improvement of occupational health in the affected organizations. From the examination, it was found out that   87% suffered from noise-induced hearing loss while a sum total of 147 cases representing 4.4% were attributed to musculoskeletal diseases. Occupational lung diseases were estimated at 2.3%. A similar trend has also been emphasized by research carried out by (Safe Work Australia, 2017).The research found out that in Australia, the manufacturing industry had the highest number of employee illnesses, injuries, and fatalities estimated at 9%.Based on research by (Miedema, Molen, Kuijer, Koes & Burdorf, 2014) it was found out that out of 100,000 employees, 191 suffered from occupational diseases per year. Out of the 191 cases, it was found out that the largest number suffered from musculoskeletal and psychological disorders while respiratory, skin and neurological disorders were found among small numbers in that order. The rate of temporary incapacity due to occupational diseases was estimated at 69% while that of permanent partial or full incapacity was reported at 3.5%.

Legislative Requirements relating to a musculoskeletal disorder. The international labor organization (ILO) stresses much significance on the role of legislation in protecting the welfare of employees. The organization states that minimum standards of workplace safety and health can only be guaranteed through legislation. Such legislation is meant to offer a legal backbone of protecting employees. According to (Deakin & Morris, 2012), however, the effectiveness of these legislations cannot be realized not unless their enforcement is supported by the Government. Enforcement of laws relating to employee health and safety acts as a form of motivation for employers to comply. A perfect example of a legislation relating to musculoskeletal disorder is Australia’s Work Health and Safety 2011.The Act places an obligation on employers to ensure that the health and safety of employees and people directly affected by the activities of the employer. The Act also requires employers to provide and maintain a safe work environment for their employees by ensuring structures, systems of work and plants are safe and well maintained. They are also mandated to ensure the safe storage, handling and use of substances by their employees. Finally, employers are required to ensure continuous monitoring of working conditions and health of workers in order to prevent any potential illnesses or injuries that might arise (WorkSafe 2017).Other international laws relating to musculoskeletal disorder and other occupational health and safety issues include The United Kingdom’s Health and Safety at work Act 1974 and United State’s Occupational Safety and Health Act 1970.These two are the primary pieces of legislation covering employee health and safety in the two countries respectively.

Occupational Diseases in the Manufacturing Industry

Standard Industry Practices for addressing occupational diseases. According to (LEIGH, 2011), Occupational health issues such as musculoskeletal disorder have been found to have a significant impact on employees. It has also been noted that the main categories of occupational diseases are occupational skin diseases, occupational lung diseases, and other work-related disease. The severity of the impact of these diseases requires that measures are put in place to address them. According to (Burke, Clarke & Cooper, 2011), The main standard practice used in addressing musculoskeletal disorder involves the identification, elimination, or control of the main risk factors. Besides the identification and elimination putting in place control measures and updating the existing control strategies is also used in addressing musculoskeletal disorder.

Elimination of musculoskeletal disorder causes in the workplace. This technique is based on the assumption that the best way to eliminate musculoskeletal disorder at the workplace is by getting rid of MSD hazards. Work processes likely to generate hazards should be avoided at all times. After avoidance, these work processes are replaced by other processes with minimal impact on health and safety of employees. In the event that elimination or the use of alternative processes fail to yield results than control measures should be instituted to help minimize the impact of the Musculoskeletal disorder on employees (Quinlan, Bohle & Lamm, 2010). In addition, administrative measures such as the formulation of safety management systems, training on effective work practices and guidelines as well as the use of personal protective equipment can be effective strategies for minimizing and eliminating musculoskeletal disorder at the workplace. If used effectively, these strategies can be quite effective in reducing and eliminating musculoskeletal disorder risks in organizations.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the musculoskeletal disorder is a major issue that continues to have a significant impact on employees and organizations. The manufacturing sector is the main sector affected by MSD’s. Musculoskeletal disorder apart from the impact they have on individual employees can also significantly affect the productivity of organizations. In some extreme cases, MSD’s have been found to cause death. Numerous legislations have been enacted to promote the health and safety of employees. Apart from legislation, organizations can also use strategies such as the elimination of health hazards, use of control strategies and personal safety mechanism in order to deal with the musculoskeletal disorder.

Ali, D., Yusof, Y., & Adam, A. (2017). Safety Culture and Issue in the Malaysian Manufacturing Sector. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from https://www.bing.com/cr?IG=6579BE640445499C9EA542A71ECCBC54&CID=23A08DB28D4C6A7E0DEC867D8CE36BB6&rd=1&h=-04Z-YFC0GbGOe7I9nvPjTyYt8U94dr9H_Pgjve8RPk&v=1&r=https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321166276_Safety_Culture_and_Issue_in_the_Malaysian_Manufacturing_Sector&p=DevEx,5067.1

Burke, R. J., Clarke, S., & Cooper, C. L. (Eds.). (2011). Occupational health and safety. Gower Publishing, Ltd.

Leigh, J. P. (2011). Economic Burden of Occupational Injury and Illness in the United States. The Milbank Quarterly, 89(4), 728.

Deakin, S. F., & Morris, G. S. (2012). Labour law. Hart Publishing.

Hughes, P., & Ferrett, E. (2011). Introduction to health and safety at work. Routledge.

Fartasch, M., Diepgen, T. L., Schmitt, J., & Drexler, H. (2012). The relationship between occupational sun exposure and non-melanoma skin cancer: clinical basics, epidemiology, occupational disease evaluation, and prevention. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 109(43), 715.

Kiadaliri, A. A., Woolf, A. D., & Englund, M. (2017). Musculoskeletal disorders as an underlying cause of death in 58 countries, 1986–2011: trend analysis of WHO mortality database. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 18(1), 62. 

Miedema, H. S., Molen, H. F., Kuijer, P. P., Koes, B. W., & Burdorf, A. (2014). The incidence of low back pain related occupational diseases in the Netherlands. European Journal of Pain, 18(6), 873-882.

Norlander, C., Ohlsson, K., Åkesson, I., Arvidsson, I., Balogh, I., Hansson, G. Å., ... & Skerfving, S. (2009). Risk of musculoskeletal disorders among females and males in repetitive/constrained work. Ergonomics, 52(10), 1226-1239. 

Quinlan, M., Bohle, P., & Lamm, F. (2010). Managing occupational health and safety. Palgrave Macmillan.

Safe Work Australia.(2017).Manufacturing.Retrieved April 10, 2018, from https://www.bing.com/cr?IG=09F116E2153F4A0DAA36D8744BDDAD60&CID=15A468370C2465DB112263FA0D8B6400&rd=1&h=ez8ETuar3-ZlH-CLBuIFfcZ6YumyLW5Qmq8khoW0Oow&v=1&r=https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/industry_business/manufacturing&p=DevEx,5068.1

Sauter, S., & Moon, S. D. (2014). An ecological model of musculoskeletal disorders in office work. In Beyond Biomechanics (pp. 15-31). CRC Press.

Westgaard, R. H., & Winkel, J. (2011). Occupational musculoskeletal and mental health: Significance of rationalization and opportunities to create sustainable production systems–A systematic review. Applied Ergonomics, 42(2), 261-296.

WorkSafe. (2017).Work Health and Safety Act 2011 Retrieved April 11, 2018, from https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/

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