The National Safety Council (NSC) recently announced a new collaboration between its MSD Solutions Lab and Safetytech Accelerator, a technology accelerator focused on safety and risk in industrial sectors, to design, build, and run an innovation lab to help facilitate the development of musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention technology.
Last fall, the NSC and Safetytech Accelerator unveiled a pilot under the NSC’s “Work to Zero” initiative to promote employer adoption of safety technologies. Work to Zero is the NSC’s safety research effort to eliminate workplace fatalities by 2050.
MSDs, sometimes referred to as ergonomic injuries, include back strains and sprains, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tears, and tendonitis, usually resulting from awkward or static postures, forceful exertions, or repetitive movements. There is no federal ergonomics standard. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cites employers for violations of the General Duty Clause (§5(a)(1)) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act when the agency identifies MSD hazard exposures.
The NSC refers to MSDs as the most common workplace injury and characterizes them as a significant challenge for employers, stating that 30 percent of unwanted days away from work are due to MSDs, resulting in annual costs of approximately $20 billion for U.S. employers.
“MSDs know no boundaries and pose a risk to workers in every industry and business worldwide, which is why ongoing global collaboration is a crucial component of solving this omnipresent safety challenge,” MSD Solutions Lab director Corinne Towler said in a statement.
“Safetytech Accelerator is a long-time leader in advocating for and implementing next-generation safety solutions across a spectrum of high-risk sectors,” she added.
The collaboration with Safetytech Accelerator is one of several initiatives launched this year by the MSD Solutions Lab to prevent MSDs before they start, according to the NSC, providing individuals and organizations with opportunities to develop and share cutting-edge solutions and technology to eliminate work-related MSDs.
The NSC’s MSD Solutions Lab conducts research and engages with workplace health and safety stakeholders to address MSD risk prevention by identifying new technology, innovating solutions, and scaling the results of research to benefit all workplaces. The MSD Solutions Lab is supported by corporate contributions from Amazon.com Inc. Other initiatives of the MSD Solutions Lab include an employer MSD Pledge and an MSD Index, which gauges an employer’s risk-reduction strategies and workplace safety culture.
The NSC is a not-for-profit organization focused on preventing deaths in the home, in the workplace, and on the roadways.
Safetytech Accelerator is a not-for-profit established by Lloyd’s Register and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation to promote the development and adoption of safety technology, including analytics and visual analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), drones and robotics, and sensors and wearables.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with NSC,” Safetytech Accelerator managing director Dr. Maurizio Pilu said in a statement.
“By working with the MSD Solutions Lab and National Safety Council leadership and their expansive network of safety experts, we hope to advance a practical understanding of how safety technologies can make a difference and create opportunities for entrepreneurs in developing and refining their solutions for real-world use cases.”