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NIOSH requests input on draft of first-ever NORA for Musculoskeletal Health

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Washington — NIOSH is seeking comment on a draft of its first National Occupational Research Agenda for Musculoskeletal Health. The agenda incorporates knowledge about injuries and illnesses, the state of the science, and the likelihood that new information and approaches will make a difference in preventing musculoskeletal disorders.

Intended to identify the research, information and actions “most urgently needed” to prevent occupational injuries, the agenda “provides a vehicle for stakeholders to describe the most relevant issues, gaps, and safety and health needs for the sector,” NIOSH states a March 22 Federal Register notice.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines MSDs as soft-tissue injuries resulting from “sudden or sustained exposure to repetitive motion, force, vibration, or awkward positions.” Areas affected can include the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints and cartilage in the neck, lower back, and upper and lower limbs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one-third of all lost-time workplace injuries in 2015 were linked to MSDs. Occupations with high rates of musculoskeletal injuries include laborers and freight, stock and material movers; nursing assistants and registered nurses; truck and delivery service drivers; and maintenance and repair workers.

The deadline to comment is May 21.

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