NSC Empowers Small Business Owners, Advances Pledge to Reduce Most Common Workplace Injury 25% by 2025

MSD Solutions Lab hosts summit to equip organizations of all sizes with solutions to prevent musculoskeletal disorders.

October 13, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs, are the most common workplace injury and cost U.S. private sector businesses nearly $17 billion each year. Recognizing the outsized impact these injuries have on small businesses, the National Safety Council MSD Solutions Lab, a groundbreaking program established in 2021 with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), is making it easier for organizations of all sizes to prevent workplace MSDs by hosting the first-ever MSD Pledge: Small Business Summit.

MSDs are often known as ergonomics injuries, which include ailments such as tendinitis, back strains and sprains, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome. They are the leading cause of worker disability, involuntary retirement and limitations to gainful employment. Held earlier today in honor of National Ergonomics Month, the MSD Pledge: Small Business Summit addressed the unique challenges these pervasive, complex injuries pose to small businesses, while giving safety leaders and entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn more about creative, attainable MSD solutions. 

“Every employee deserves to work in an environment where MSD risks are evaluated and minimized, yet feedback we have received shows financial constraints are the most common barrier organizations across low-margin industries face to investing in safety technology,” said Corinne Towler, MSD Solutions Lab director, NSC. “Our mission is to help every employer, whether they are a multinational corporation or a family-owned business, create safer outcomes for their workers, and the inaugural Small Business Summit ensures everyone in our safety community has a seat at the table in advancing scalable MSD solutions.”

“At Amazon, we’re committed to helping small- and medium-sized businesses in every way we can, as they are a pillar of our online stores,” said Carla Gunnin, director of Global Governance and External Affairs for Workplace Health and Safety at Amazon. “These companies need safety tools and resources just as much as they need a platform to expand their business operations, so we are proud to continue supporting them through our partnership with NSC and the MSD Solutions Lab.”

The MSD Pledge: Small Business Summit is the latest initiative by the MSD Solutions Lab aimed at preventing MSDs before they start and builds on the previously launched MSD Pledge, an industry-first call-to-action that unites organizations in reducing workplace MSDs worldwide by 25% by 2025. To date, more than 100 organizations from around the globe have signed the pledge, two-thirds of which are small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. During the summit, NSC also unveiled the ‘Small Business Guide for MSDs,’ a manual that offers proven, turnkey MSD solutions to help small business owners save time and money while keeping their workers safe.

“Small businesses aren’t just the anchor of the nation’s economy, making up 99.9% of all U.S. firms. They’re also the linchpin of the communities where employees live and work, which is why fostering safe and healthy workplaces is crucial,” said Dr. Anthony Harris, CEO, medical director, HFIT Health. “We were one of the first organizations to join the MSD Pledge when it launched earlier this year and are proud to be among this network of small businesses looking to advance and share MSD prevention efforts, so workers everywhere can go home safely each day to their loved ones.”

“The health and wellbeing of our employees is critically important, and even though we are not in a high-risk industry where having a dedicated team of in-house ergonomists is crucial, we are ensuring we continuously research and implement the right safeguards to protect our team. This initiative with the MSD Solutions Lab has helped me understand how we can more effectively support our team's safety needs with innovative business policies and solutions and I look forward to furthering our culture of safety and transparency with this new knowledge,” said Bryan Statham, co-founder and CEO, LifeBooster. 

In addition to the summit and MSD Pledge, MSD Solutions Lab initiatives to prevent workplace MSDs include:

  • Advisory Council: Experts in safety, health, ergonomics and innovation support and inform the program’s work by engaging in, researching, solving, and amplifying MSD prevention efforts. 
  • MSD Pioneering Research: Comprehensive research efforts to explore current and future MSD prevention-related strategies, including the recently released white paper: Preventing Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders: A Systematic Review of Current Interventions and Future Research Directions.
  • Innovation Challenges: Organizations will have the opportunity to showcase cutting-edge technology solutions focused on risk prevention and elimination of workplace MSDs, with the inaugural challenge recently held at the 2022 NSC Safety Congress & Expo. 
  • Small Business and University Grants: Provide grants to small businesses, universities, and students to fund research and innovation that help companies of all sizes achieve impact.

To learn more about MSD prevention resources or sign up for the MSD Pledge, visit nsc.org/msd.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for more than 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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