Utilization of an Education Program Developed for Custodial Workers to Reduce the Rate and Cost of Shoulder Injuries

Purpose : The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) estimates the annual workers compensation benefits paid for all compensable injuries and illnesses from 2009-2010 as $115.6 billion. In 2011, injuries and illnesses incurred from repetitive motion accounted for 3% of all occupational injury and illnesses. Workers who sustained injuries in this manner required a median of 23 days away from work, nearly 3 times as many days as other injuries (OSHA). In Janitors and cleaners specifically the shoulder is the second highest cause for injury or illness and requires more than twice as many days away from work than for all other cases.Description : To reduce the rate of shoulder injuries at Boston University a program of education and equipment modification was implemented in 2010 among custodial workers. Yearly presentations on ergonomics in the work place, and functional task analysis were given to all custodians. Cost of care and rate of injury data from 2002-2013 was analyzed to determine the effectiveness of this program on shoulder specific injuries.Summary of Use : Between 2002-2009, 79 shoulder injuries were reported with 14% due to overuse. From 2010-2013, 22 shoulder injuries were reported, none due to overuse or repetitive motions. The yearly average cost of shoulder injury prior to intervention was $160,481.72, after intervention was $25,512.47.Importance to Members: These findings suggest that implementation of a yearly injury prevention presentation and functional task analysis may reduce the rate of injury to the shoulder in custodial workers and lower the average cost associated with injury.

BACK to Abstract Results

  • Control #: 1712356
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2014
  • Authors: Julie Collins, Kelly Pesanelli, Lee Marinko
  • Keywords: shoulder injuries|custodial workers|healthcare costs

BACK to Abstract Results