How to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) at work?

In France, 87% of recognised occupational diseases are musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Very often, these disorders are developed in companies when an employee’s workstation is not properly designed and involves risks.

How can musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) be prevented at work and thus protect employees? The ROSTAING experts take stock.

What is an MSD?

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect the joints of the upper limbs (wrists, fingers, elbows, shoulders) and the lower back.

They can be the cause of pathologies such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinopathy, neck pain and low back pain.

In general, we talk about musculoskeletal disorders in companies, because certain sectors of activity such as the food industry, metallurgy and construction are particularly prone to them.

MSD figures in 2021

  • 95% of daily benefits for occupational diseases were paid for musculoskeletal disorders.
  • 20 % of accidents at work are actually back pain due to musculoskeletal disorders.
  • 30% of work stoppages are caused by a musculoskeletal disorder.

Risk factors for MSDs

The onset of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) at work can be due to the following factors:

  • Physical factors: handling heavy loads, repetitive movements, handling vibrating tools and machines, excessive effort, sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, etc.
  • Psychosocial factors: lack of autonomy, lack of time, lack of social support, repetitive and monotonous tasks.

Source :

What can be done to avoid MSDs?

At the individual level

Generally speaking, MSDs can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, i.e:

  • A complete and balanced diet;
  • Regular mobility and muscle maintenance;
  • The adoption of correct postures according to the tasks;
  • A warm-up routine before each working day / stretching after each working day.

At the collective level

Because MSDs can impact a company from many angles (reduced productivity, employee absence, etc.) it is essential to:

  1. Take note of the risk factors by auditing workstations and the tasks assigned to them.
  2. Identify all risk factors within the work environment. 
  3. Control the risks: reduce constraints, restructure production, better equip employees with appropriate PPE, adopt better medical monitoring, etc.
  4. Evaluate the effectiveness of the measures taken and readjust them if necessary.
  5. Organise seminars and training related to MSD prevention in the workplace to raise awareness among employees.

The central tool for this prevention approach should be the occupational risk assessment document. 

In all cases, it is important to work in collaboration with staff representatives, the CHSCT, occupational medicine and also external assessment bodies.

How does Rostaing help to reduce the occurrence of MSDs at work?

Since its creation, ROSTAING has made it a point of honour to improve worker safety.

For our teams, this means working on the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders by developing gloves adapted to the different uses of their users.

With this in mind, our product experts have taken care to integrate innovative materials into the production chain of our PPE, such as D3O® foam or ergonomic reinforcements.

How to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) at work?

For example, our PROTECT4SHOCK model is a must-have glove to protect your employees’ hands from vibration shock.

The PROTECT4SHOCK glove has a D3O® anti-shock foam and a reinforced leather palm, making it suitable for intensive and repetitive work. The ergonomic reinforcement absorbs and dissipates impact energy.

The glove has been specially designed for clipping operations in the automotive sector following a job study. But the PROTECT4SHOCK can also be worn for other jobs or activities such as carpentry or cycling.

Other models of ROSTAING gloves have been developed to counter the risks of MSD:

How to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) at work?


The OPSB+ intervention glove model has standardised impact protection on sensitive areas (metacarpals) thanks to thermoplastic reinforcements.

In addition, the OPSB+ is equipped with a D3O® foam palm reinforcement integrated with siliconised amara to limit the effects of impacts during wearer operations.

How to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) at work?


Le gant de désincarcération pompier RESCUEFLUO est conçu sur le même principe avec une protection normée contre les chocs en dos de la main. Mais aussi du renfort en paume en D3O® intégrée à du cuir croûte de bovin pour dissiper les effets des impacts lors des opérations de secours routiers.

How to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) at work?


Finally, the VIBRAPROTECT model, as its name indicates, is specifically designed to protect against the vibrations of vibrating machines and tools according to the EN ISO 10819 standard updated in 2019.

The glove is therefore particularly suitable for the construction/civil engineering sector when handling and using vibrating equipment such as drills and jackhammers.

To find out more about our range of technical products against MSD at work, please consult our catalogue.

Would you like to place an order or become a ROSTAING dealer? Let us know at

If you have any other questions about our products, our product engineers are at your disposal: