Ergonomics by the numbers

1-- Number of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that must occur before OSHA's ergonomics standard is triggered to protect workers in a job.


1 -- Number of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that must occur before OSHA's ergonomics standard is triggered to protect workers in a job.

3 -- Number of years that employers have to implement permanent controls to eliminate or materially reduce MSD hazards.

7 -- Number of years that OSHA has been trying to develop an ergonomics standard.

25 -- Median number of workdays an employee misses because of carpal tunnel syndrome.

30 -- Number of real solutions to real ergonomic problems that can be implemented for less than $100, according to a recent OSHA booklet.

42 -- Percent of carpal tunnel syndrome cases that result in more than 30 days away from work.

50 -- Percent of U.S. employees who are not covered by a company ergonomics program.

62 -- Percent of all lost workday tendonitis cases suffered by women.

70 -- Percent of all lost workday carpal tunnel syndrome cases suffered by women.

75 -- Percent of general industry employers that will not be required to implement an ergonomics program.

$150 -- Average annual cost to an employer for altering a job so that it will not cause a work-related MSD.

2700 -- Number of stakeholders who have participated in OSHA sponsored ergonomics conferences.

$22,500 -- Average amount in direct costs to be saved for each MSD prevented.

300,000 -- Number of workers who annually will be spared painful and potentially disabling work-related MSDs if the standard goes into effect.

600,000 -- Number of injuries involving lost workdays/yr due to MSDs in the U.S.

1.8 million -- Number of U.S. workers who annually suffer MSDs.

1.9 million -- Number of general industry worksites that will come under OSHA's ergonomics standard.

27 million -- Number of workers who will be protected by the standard.

$9 billion -- Savings generated annually by complying with the OSHA ergonomic program standard. Source: OSHA

Note: On Nov. 23, 1999, OSHA issued its controversial ergonomics proposal. More information on the proposal can be found at

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