Work Related Musculo-Skeletal Disorders (WMSD's) are the most common ergonomic workplace injury. They are also known as repetitive strain injuries or cumulative trauma disorders. These soft tissue injuries occur gradually. They are caused by awkward heavy lifting, working in awkward postures and hand intensive work.
The risk factors for WMSDs are fixed or restrained body positions for an extended period of time, constant repetition of the same movement, constant force directed to small areas of the body, such as the wrists, and a very fast paced work environment that does not allow sufficient recovery time between movements.
Reduce your risk by maintaining an upright posture with a tight core and naturally curved lower back. Avoid repetitive motions and bend you knees and maintain a neutral spine when lifting heavy objects.
As an employer, you can eliminate repetitive motions performed by workers by mechanizing the task. Job rotation is another option, where workers move between different tasks at various times throughout the work day. The rotation should involve a completely different task that makes use of different muscles.
Job enlargement is another way to overcome monotonous movement. It involves broadening the scope of duties performed to make the job more autonomous and interesting for the worker.