Musculoskeletal disorders are commonplace and lead to both individual suffering and a high level of costs
High or inadequate physical workload, such as heavy lifting and carrying, can lead to problems with the musculoskeletal system. On this page, we provide you with information on the causes, prevalence and cost of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), as well as on BAuA's contributions to their prevention.
MSDs include all disorders of the musculoskeletal system, also referred to as the support and locomotor system. They can affect any area of this system, including the ligaments, blood vessels, cartilage, tendons, bones, etc. The collective term also encompasses all transient forms of health complaints, from slight, temporary disturbances to serious, chronic, irreversible damage.
Both in Germany and internationally, MSDs are the most common cause of
Over the course of a year, MSDs are responsible for
Source: Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit - Berichtsjahr 2016 / BAuA (Ed.).
MSDs also account for a significant part of compensation for occupational diseases.
MSDs have a wide range of causes, originating both in workplace activities and in the individual's private life. Work-related MSDs are especially caused by unfavourable physical workload. Accordingly, the lifting and carrying of heavy loads is seen as one of the typical activities that lead to unfavourable loading of the musculoskeletal system.
MSDs, such as degenerative disorders of the back or arthritis of the knee, usually restrict motor capabilities, such as strength, coordination and mobility. These restrictions mean that many physical requirements at work, such as the ability to lift and carry loads, cannot be met or can only be met to a limited extent. The term "work-related musculoskeletal disorders" is used for disorders and problems of the musculoskeletal system, or rather of the locomotor apparatus, that occur in relation to work.
BAuA makes numerous contributions to the prevention of MSDs: