Healthcare workers are among the occupational groups most at risk for musculoskeletal injuries, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announced in a series of blog posts on these all-too-common harms.

“Healthcare personnel in hospitals, nursing homes, home care, and emergency response settings are at high risk of developing neck, shoulder, and back injuries from lifting and handling patients,” NIOSH officials wrote.1

Approximately one in three workers’ compensation claims that result in paid time off are related to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). NIOSH defines MSDs as soft-tissue injuries caused by sudden or sustained exposure to repetitive motion, force, vibration, and awkward positions.

In addition to healthcare workers, NIOSH cited the risk of ergonomic injuries to firefighters and police because the physical demands of their work often change rapidly.


1. NIOSH. Warner E, Lu J. Blog Series to Highlight Musculoskeletal Health Research at NIOSH. Oct. 27, 2017. Available at: Accessed Oct. 31, 2017.