Duration of Exposure to Risk Factors

Last Updated: August 26, 2018

Definition - What does Duration of Exposure to Risk Factors mean?

Duration of exposure to risk factors is the amount of time expended to complete a job-related task where certain hazards exist leading to potential work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD). Different tasks and working conditions carry varying degrees of risks that can often compromise the neuromuscular function and integrity of the body. These factors depend on environmental conditions, ergonomic control measures, health and safety guidelines, and managerial supervision. Daily repetitive motions and postures can lead over time to increased risk of injuries, persistent pain, and permanent disabilities.

WorkplaceTesting explains Duration of Exposure to Risk Factors

Many variables contribute independently to WMSD conditions causing an individual to experience physical limitations and/or restrictions affecting their mobility, performance, and quality of life. The workplace consists of distinct elements that include handling mechanical equipment/tools, heavy workloads, repetition of duties/tasks and temperature changes that cause debilitating WMSD disorders. Manual labor jobs generally require overexertion or physical strain placing significant biomechanical stress on bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons leading to complicating health issues.

Office roles can present discrete health risks, in particular, individuals who remain in sedentary positions for a lengthy period of time are at high risk. Awkward body postures, poor ergonomics, and deficient training skills are typical culprits. Employers are obligated to foster a culture of health and safety, introducing practical working habits to their employees to reduce or prevent WMSD injuries and/or disabilities.

An ergonomic system designed to identify potential hazards, keep employees abreast with current policy, adjust environmental conditions, and modify outdated or substandard resources can help deter WMSD conditions. An effective method to shorten duration of exposure to risk factors can encompass brief intervals of exercise such as stretching to loosen joints and circulate blood flow.

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