Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are among the most reported reasons for absence or loss of productivity in the workplace . But how can businesses mitigate the impact of these disorders?
Keep reading as we discuss our latest partnership with Longitude6 to combat MSDs using motion & vision capture technology, and help businesses reclaim losses in productivity.
What are MSDs?
Musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs, are conditions affecting the muscles, bones and joints which cause pain and limitations in mobility, such as lower back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tendinitis .
These disorders often impact peoples’ ability to carry out day to day activities and work, particularly in labour-intensive work settings like construction, nursing, and manufacturing.
How do MSDs impact the workplace?
According to latest HSE statistics, the total number of cases of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’S) in 2021/22 was 477,000, which is a prevalence rate of 1,430 per 100,000 workers. 
These were comprised of 175,000 cases where the upper limbs or neck was affected, 202,000 where the back was affected and 99,000 where the lower limbs were affected.
An estimated 7.3 million workdays were lost equating to an estimated £5bn in lost productivity to the economy.
How does the UK compare to the US in handling MSD cases?
The manual handling regulations in the UK have been around for many years and we have seen a slow downward trend in MSD’s but much more needs to be done.
Innovative workplace technologies have emerged in recent years and whilst the US has been quicker to adopt them due to high healthcare and workers compensation costs, the UK has been slower to take advantage.
Cardinus’ partnership with Longitude 6 to combat MSDs
At Cardinus we have conducted research to identify the best solutions to combat MSDs and in doing so have secured an exclusive partnership with Longitude6. Longitude6 provide a suite of technologies that objectively measure and map physical stress on the body, giving rapid diagnostics. These solutions encompass sensor and 3D motion capture data and risk analysis. Find out more about our partnership with Longitude6.
How technology can reduce MSDs in workplace
Motion or vision capture systems
Motion or vision capture systems use commercially available cameras or smartphone/tablet cameras to build deep learning models that can assess function and dysfunction of an employee. The proliferation of such internet-enabled cameras has made safety risk assessments much more manageable.
Motion capture systems are easy to deploy and are highly scalable and are ideal for fit for work and return to work programmes.
Motion tracking sensors
Motion tracking sensors are another method that is currently in practice is the use for identifying occupational health risks. The sensors located at key joints track the movement of the body during a task. With features to look at repetitive tasks and perceived or real loads, it enables the software to deliver highly accurate models that identify tasks that have the potential to cause MSDs over time.
This enhanced data can better inform health, safety, occupational health, and ergonomics experts in the business enabling better training and design and help reduce the cost of lost productivity.
Harnessing data to combat MSDs
Longitude6 has developed the Delta Method, a unique and innovative proprietary system which facilitates the design and creation of an optimal Workplace Risk Ecosystem. The information gathered from the technology and further analysis, positions an organisation to achieve its objectives in reducing the cost and impact of workplace injuries on businesses and people.
Both technologies provide a giant leap forward compared to existing observational methods using pen and paper to calculating risks. Longitude6 technology has been deployed in construction, manufacturing, mining, warehouses, care homes, and in the haulage sector to analyse tasks and perform job redesigning.
To find out how Longitude6 can help you reduce costs, improve productivity, and decrease your employee injury rate, get in touch.