NSC Business and Industry Division news Ergonomics Musculoskeletal disorders

NSC offering nearly $300K in grants in push to reduce work-related MSDs


Itasca, IL — The National Safety Council has announced two new grant programs to encourage development of safety solutions targeting work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

MSDs are the most common workplace injury. They include tendinitis, strains and sprains, and carpal tunnel syndrome, and are the leading cause of worker disability, early retirement and limitations to gainful employment, NSC says.

The council will award $285,000 through its Research to Solutions grant and MSD Solutions Pilot Grant 1.0. The programs are the latest efforts introduced by NSC’s MSD Solutions Lab – a strategic initiative established in 2021 with Amazon to help organizations of all sizes reduce MSDs.

“MSDs are incredibly complex injuries that impact workers in every industry and sector, which is why finding effective solutions and being able to scale results across a range of operating environments is central to the council’s mission,” said Paul Vincent, executive vice president of workplace practice at NSC. “Safety is all about continuous improvement and, by tapping the brightest minds and greatest resources across our vast safety community through these new grant programs, we will be even better positioned to advance safer outcomes for all workers.”

R2S – which will award up to $75,000 per approved research project, for a total of $225,000 in grants – invites academic institutions, businesses and industries to innovate new solutions for MSDs, focusing on occupational injury risk reduction that can be seamlessly integrated across a range of sectors and workplaces. R2S proposals should support one or more key research areas, including:

  • Emerging technologies
  • Solutions to jobs or tasks known to have high MSD risk
  • MSD management systems
  • Future of work
  • Total worker well-being

With a total award amount of $60,000, MSD Solutions Pilot Grant 1.0 is aimed at preventing MSDs specifically caused by manual material handling. This will be accomplished by matching organizations with innovative technology providers to trial emerging technologies in real-life applications. The inaugural grant will be available to members of the MSD Pledge community willing to partner with the six leading technology providers featured at the 2022 NSC Safety Congress & Expo. 

The list of inaugural grant recipients will be announced in June, and the recipients will have an opportunity to present their safety findings at the 2024 NSC Safety Congress & Expo or another event.

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