Medical wearables can reduce workplace injuries

Andrew Ronchi of dorsaVi brings us the data on medical wearables and why utilizing this innovative technology can reduce injuries to the workforce

Employers have a legal duty of care to their employees. They should make sure that employees can work in an environment where risks to their health and safety are controlled. This means there are strict procedures in place when it comes to handling machinery, work equipment, chemicals and so on. The procedures are there to prevent what are mostly traumatic workplace accidents.

But however necessary such procedures are, they often do not prevent the most common type of work injury: musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). These are mostly strains and sprains, shoulder injuries and back injuries, caused by thousands of seemingly innocent, but harmful repetitive movements every day. 126.6 million US adults were diagnosed with an MSD in 2012(1), twice as many as any other condition. Work-related MSDs have a severe impact on the quality of life for a majority of the adult population.

In the US, 290.8 million working days were lost to MSDs in 2012 alone, for an average of 11.4 days per employee. The US economy lost $213 billion to MSDs in 2011, both in direct and indirect costs. That’s 1.4% of its Gross Domestic Product. So not only are MSDs very costly for a national economy but for an individual company, workers’ compensation claims add up to a significant portion of keeping a company’s workforce healthy and productive.

Additionally, compensation claims are often only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to costs. MSDs are linked to chronic pain for the employee, more pressure on the remaining team members and overall lower work morale and productivity. Employees who suffer from MSDs are also five times more likely to injure themselves again.

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