Do Workplace Stretching Programs Lower Musculoskeletal Injuries?

Written by on 8/22/2016 3:06 AM in , , . It has 1 Comments.

Do your workplace injury prevention tactics have employees reaching for the stars? Workplace stretching programs are all the rage – but do they justify the cost? The experts at Minnesota Comp Advisor took an in-depth look at this approach to injury prevention…

Why stretching programs?
Injuries not only cause pain and suffering, but can cost your business in increased insurance costs, lost productivity, and the training of additional personnel. Strains and soft tissue injuries are among the most high cost, as it's difficult to pinpoint their cause and equally difficult to diagnose. Employers are turning to stretching programs in an attempt to reduce their risks.

A mixed bag
Though some studies have shown the effectiveness of stretching in reducing musculoskeletal dysfunction (MSD), others call these results into question. A 2003 review of three well-known studies found stretching exercises did not result in any meaningful or statistical reduction in their occurrence.

However, stretching in combination with engineering and administrative controls can reduce MSD occurrence. Such controls include reducing the physical demands of manual material handling. OSHA ergonomic guidelines are a good example of this, lowering the incidence of cumulative trauma injuries and workmans’ comp costs.

Not a quick fix
Stretching programs require careful planning. Hasty implementation can result in further injuries and increased costs. Companies implementing such programs must ensure the appropriateness of exercises in relation to workplace duties and the qualifications of instructors. Comprehensive ergonomic programs may, therefore, offer a better return on investment.

Don't stretch yourself too thin when it comes to workplace injury prevention. Arm yourself with the tools you need for success with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor. Contact us today.


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