NIOSHThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has released a new topic page on Upper Limb Musculoskeletal Disorders. The page features peer-reviewed publications that were completed by NIOSH researchers and other members of the MSD Consortium (Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industry, University of California/Berkeley/San Francisco, Washington University/St. Louis, University of Wisconsin, University of Iowa, University of Connecticut, and University of Utah).

NIOSH began the collaborative research program in 2000, to prevent work-related upper limb musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs, conditions involving the nerves, tendons, muscles, and supporting structures of the upper limb). The program has research partners at six universities and one state agency. The goal of the program is to determine the risk for work-related:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • tendonitis of the forearm and wrist
  • shoulder disorders
  • MSD risk is measured based on:
  • hand activity level
  • amount of forceful exertion required
  • awkward postures
  • hand-transmitted vibration

The studies from this collaboration have considered individual MSD risk factors, including age, gender, body mass index (weight in relation to height), and medical conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disorders.

To date, the studies have included more than 4,000 workers in healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, and construction settings. These studies will:

  • determine the level of physical job demands that increase upper limb MSDs
  • see if exposure predicts health outcomes
  • guide prevention practices

Click below to learn more about the findings from this collaborative effort

Research completed using pooled data from Consortium partners

Research completed by NIOSH

University of California Berkeley / University of California San Francisco

University of Connecticut

University of Iowa

University of Utah / University of Wisconsin

Washington State Department of Labor & Industry

Washington University at St. Louis