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New app under development to identify workplace injury risks

Some New Jersey workers in the manufacturing industry suffer workplace injuries that are caused by repetitive motions. Some repetitive motions can cause stress to the muscles, bones and joints, leading to permanent damage. Due to the frequency of such injuries, researchers are working to develop new technologies that might help engineers identify problematic conditions and make alterations to lessen the risk of repetitive motion injuries.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin at Madison are working to develop a smartphone application that employers could use to track employee motions so that modifications could be made when and where they are needed. The researchers are using video data that has been collected by multiple agencies and universities.

Currently, the methods that are used to determine repetitive motion risks are largely subjective. Examples include safety professionals rating various movements on scales of 0 to 10 for risks. This measurement process leaves significant room for error, so better evaluation methods are needed. The researchers are working to create an app that uses visual data in order to create algorithms that might allow safety engineers to make better predictions and redesigns of working areas. This could help employers identify areas where changes are needed so that their employees may be better protected.

When a worker suffers from an occupational disease or injury, he or she may have to miss many days of work. He or she may also suffer from permanent damage that renders it impossible for the employee to return to his or her former job. Employers must keep their workplaces safe for their employees and work to minimize the risk of injuries and illnesses. When a worker is injured, the employer may have to provide coverage to the injured worker through its workers' compensation insurance coverage. An attorney who specializes in workplace accidents might be able to help the injured party seek compensation.

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