Since the partnership began in June 2021, the National Safety Council and Amazon have been working on several key initiatives to prevent ergonomic injuries, which are commonly known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Affecting one-quarter of the global population, MSDs are both pervasive and complex, and result from exposures to repetitive movements, awkward or static postures and forceful exertions. This program strives to prevent and eliminate MSDs by conducting research, engaging key stakeholders, facilitating and inventing new technologies and processes, and scaling those results — so all workplaces can benefit.
As a first step of this groundbreaking initiative, an advisory council was formed in December 2021. Composed of volunteers, these experts in safety, health, ergonomics and innovation will serve to support and inform the work of the program by engaging in, researching, solving and amplifying MSD prevention efforts. Advisory council meetings are already underway with representatives from the following organizations serving as founding members:
Benchmark Digital Partners
Ergonomics Center at North Carolina State
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Lloyd’s Register Foundation
Ohio State University
Sandalwood Engineering & Ergonomics
Texas A&M University
Virginia Tech University
Work Right NW
In the year ahead, the program will launch the following initiatives to achieve its goal of preventing MSD injuries before they start:
- The MSD Pledge: A commitment companies and organizations of all sizes can make to further efforts and develop meaningful best practices in MSD prevention. These pledgees will play a critical role in encouraging other companies to take the pledge and set an example of excellence of MSD prevention efforts. More to come soon; the program will launch the MSD Pledge in the first quarter of 2022.
- MSD 2025 Pioneering Research: Conduct research utilizing next-generation artificial intelligence, natural language processing and machine learning tools to explore current and future MSD innovations and trends. The research will be available to all industries to explore and glean insights, with an initial white paper debuting in the second half of 2022.
- Inaugural Hackathon Challenge: To encourage innovation and interest in MSD prevention, the program will host hackathon events to allow students, industry experts and others to tackle MSD prevention in a profound and impactful way. These hackathons will continue throughout the length of the program and are sure to reveal new technologies and processes that can benefit MSD prevention efforts. Stay tuned for more information about hackathons in spring of 2022.
- Small Business and University Grants: For small businesses, universities and students to fund research and innovation that help companies of all sizes achieve impact and lead to exciting and scalable new possibilities in technology or prevention processes. Grant opportunities will be provided throughout the coming year.