Safe Work Australia - Statistics on Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a range of conditions that affect joints (arthropathies), spinal vertebrae and intervertebral discs (dorsopathies), the synovium, muscles, tendons and related tissues, soft tissues, and connective tissues. MSDs were identified as priority disorders in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 (the Australian Strategy), which was developed through consultation with governments, industry, unions and the public. Priority disorders were based on the severity of consequences for workers, the number of workers estimated to be affected or the existence of known prevention options. The other priority disorders in the Australian Strategy are mental disorders, cancers (including skin cancer), asthma, contact dermatitis and noise-induced hearing loss.
The aim of the Australian Strategy is to focus attention on priority areas so that causes of workplace injuries, diseases and fatalities can be identified and minimised through appropriate prevention strategies. The statistics in this report highlight the characteristics of work-related MSDs, including their causes and the groups of workers who are at elevated risk of MSDs.


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