Since 2010, there has been a significant increase in the number of long-term disability claims filed on the basis of musculoskeletal injuries. According to insurer Unum, there has been a 40% increase in the number of workplace disability claims filed on the basis of musculoskeletal injuries. Among men, there has been a significant 62% increase.
The injuries are especially likely to affect workers in jobs that require them to perform certain activities such as repetitive and heavy lifting or long periods of sitting. Activities that involve continuous or repetitive motion or stress are also likely to result in musculoskeletal injuries that can be serious enough for the person to apply for long term disability. According to the insurer, the top causes of long -term disability among American workers continue to remain cancer, back injuries and musculoskeletal injuries.
Many of these types of injuries can be prevented through strategic countermeasures in the workplace. A greater focus on worker education on the importance of safety in the workplace, especially worker ergonomics would help. Certain types of workers may be at a higher risk of musculoskeletal injuries, including aging or obese workers. Maintaining an optimum weight could be a significant way to reduce injury risks, and employers could focus on encouraging workers to remain healthy and at an ideal weight by providing incentives for the same.