Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are a serious health concern for the NSW mining and extractives industry, accounting for more than 40% of workers’ compensation claims.
Education is crucial: an awareness study (PDF, 1.71 MB) found that knowledge of musculoskeletal disorders was poor, with only 22% of respondents claiming to be “very” or “quite” aware of the term.
We have developed several publications to help mine operators reduce the incidence and severity of MSDs, including:
- Guide to managing musculoskeletal disorders (PDF, 583.87 KB)
- Guide to managing screens and screen maintenance (PDF, 3.12 MB)
What is a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD)
The term ‘musculoskeletal disorder’ is an umbrella term for related injuries and disorders that can occur suddenly or over time. These include:
- sprains and strains of muscles, ligaments and tendons
- back injuries, including damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, spinal discs, nerves, joints and bones
- joint injuries or degeneration, including injuries to the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle, hands and feet
- bone and nerve injuries
- soft tissue hernias
- muscular and vascular disorders as a result of hand-arm vibration.
Risks that can contribute to MSD
These hazards and risk factors can lead to the development of a MSD:
- awkward postures
- forceful exertions
- repetitive actions or duration
- vibration of hand or arm and whole body (including jolting and jarring)
- slips, trips and falls and other environmental factors.