The impact of workplace screening on the occurrence of cumulative trauma disorders and workers' compensation claims

J Occup Environ Med. 1999 Feb;41(2):84-92. doi: 10.1097/00043764-199902000-00002.


Work-related musculoskeletal pain, commonly referred to more specifically as musculoskeletal disorders or cumulative trauma disorders, has continued to occur despite efforts by employers, employees, health care providers, and the government to eradicate it. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has encouraged employers to establish ergonomic prevention programs; however, many employers are concerned that screening, education, and focused attention on workplace pain will cause an increase in the number of OSHA 200 events and the incidence of workers' compensation claims. This prospective cohort study demonstrated that there was no increase in the number of OSHA 200 events and no increase in the incidence of workers' compensation claims after completion of an individual risk screening program that included education and employee awareness about work-related musculoskeletal pain. Incidence of cumulative trauma disorders has been most effectively reduced by use of individual risk-screening programs. Therefore, employers should be encouraged to develop and implement prevention programs that include individual risk screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Workers' Compensation / statistics & numerical data*