Amazon and The National Safety Council Partner to Prevent MDSs Among Workers

The National Safety Council (NSC) and recently announced a five-year partnership on aimed at creating new ways to prevent musculoskeletal disorders among workers.

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are both common and costly. In fact, MSDs are the single largest category of workplace injuries and are responsible for almost 30 percent of all workers’ compensation costs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Workers every day are in pain from strained or aggravated muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, or blood vessels related to MSDs. The condition has severe human costs that can affect a person for years, or most of their life.

The BLS defines MSDs as musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases and disorders when the event or exposure leading to the case is bodily reaction (e.g., bending, climbing, crawling, reaching, twisting), overexertion, or repetitive motion.

Examples of MSDs include:

  • Sprains, strains, and tears
  • Back pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Hernia

Under the terms of the agreement, Amazon and the NSC will form an international advisory council of safety experts, corporations and researchers from both the public and private sector to address these common injuries.

Amazon has also agreed to contribute $12 million to NSC to go toward research and small business and university grants for the purposes of studying practical MSD solutions. Amazon and NSC are also urging other companies to proactively track indicators of MSDs, implement prevention programs and share best practices with other organizations worldwide.


Takeaway: Currently, MSDs make up about 40% of Amazon’s reported workplace injuries, said Heather MacDougall, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide workplace safety and health