NSC Releases MSD Solutions Index Pledge Community Report

By Alana Smart / January 24, 2024 / Blog ,

person holding lower back

NSC Releases MSD Solutions Index Pledge Community Report

The National Safety Council (NSC) has released its Musculoskeletal Disorders MSD Solutions Index Pledge Community Report. This inaugural report provides a comprehensive overview of achievements and improvement areas in MSD prevention efforts, shedding light on key insights from a survey of over 50 companies. With a commitment to innovation, collaboration, and fostering a safer culture, the report is a pivotal step in addressing the most common workplace injury globally.

Key Insights from the Report

The MSD Solutions Index Pledge Community Report is based on a survey of 52 MSD Pledge members spanning various industries. It delves into three critical pledge commitment subsections: risk reduction, safety culture, and innovation and collaboration. Respondents were categorized into five MSD prevention maturity levels: novice, reactive, advancing, proactive, and innovating. The majority fell into proactive (46%) or advancing (39%) categories, indicating commendable progress in MSD prevention. Here are some other key findings:

Workplace Ability to Prevent MSDs

  •   54% rated their workplace’s ability to prevent MSDs as either “very good” or “excellent,” showcasing a positive outlook on prevention efforts.

MSD Prevention Programs

  •   4 out of 5 respondents have some form of MSD prevention or ergonomics program in place.
  •   65% have established methods to track MSDs within their organizations.

Psychosocial Factors

  • 85% of organizations acknowledge that psychosocial factors contribute to workplace MSDs, underscoring the importance of addressing mental health in prevention strategies.

Employee Engagement

  •  Nearly 90% of respondents have methods for workers to share safety improvement suggestions.
  •  About two-thirds regularly conduct employee perception surveys, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

Common MSD Risk Factors

  • Awkward postures/excessive bending or twists (54%), lifting or carrying (40%), and computer-related repetitive activities (35%) were identified as the most common MSD risk factors.

Impact on the Body

  •  The body parts most impacted by MSDs include the shoulder (58%), low back (58%), wrist (42%), and neck (33%).

Areas of Opportunity and Recommendations

The report suggests that larger companies, with established safety programs, generally perform better in mitigating MSD risks. However, it acknowledges the importance of ongoing improvements, emphasizing that there is always room for growth, even in organizations with mature safety programs. While celebrating current successes, the report identifies areas of opportunity for improvement:

  •   Enhancing methods of tracking MSDs.
  •   Quantifying psychosocial risk factors.
  •   Continuously monitoring and assessing physical risk factors.
  •   Sharing best practices across industries.
  •   Understanding the unique needs of the workforce.

Recommendations for impactful MSD programs include:

  •   Engaging senior leadership and creating empowered MSD solutions teams.
  •   Collecting and responding to employee feedback regularly.
  •   Measuring progress and tracking the impact of MSD programs.
  •   Identifying risk factors through collaboration with frontline workers.
  •   Ensuring MSD solutions are equitable for all employees.

Paul Vincent, Executive Vice President of Workplace Practice at NSC, emphasized the importance of data collection in managing MSDs: “What gets measured gets managed.” He highlighted the unprecedented nature of addressing the most common workplace injury globally and stressed that initiatives like the MSD Pledge contribute to creating safer outcomes for millions of workers worldwide.



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