Shoulder Injury Prevention

SKU: C-968Duration: 20 Minutes

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Language:  English

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Course Details


Training Time: 20 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: 29 CFR 1910-900 (2015): Ergonomics Program Standard

Languages: English

In the U.S., shoulder injuries result in more days away from work than any other work-related injury. Many activities - including reaching and lifting - can strain the body and cause injuries to the back, neck, shoulders, and limbs. To prevent shoulder injuries, make sure equipment and controls are maintained and function correctly, follow safe work practices, use required PPE, don't overexert, maintain good posture, and stretch and take breaks regularly. It is also important to exercise and take care of yourself during non-work hours.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify and describe the main components of a human shoulder
  • Identify risk factors for shoulder injuries
  • Describe the impact of shoulder injuries on the workplace
  • Describe common shoulder injuries, including rotator cuff injuries, dislocations, sprains, strains, factures, arthritis, and frozen shoulder
  • List common treatments for shoulder injuries
  • Identify and describe components of the "Hierarchy of Controls"
  • Identify methods of preventing shoulder injuries
  • List symptoms for which you should consult a health care professional

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What are some of the risk factors for shoulder injuries?
Age is the biggest risk factor. Other factors include a family history of shoulder injuries, a chronic disease (like arthritis), bone spurs on a shoulder blade, and participation in sports or manual labor.

What is a "rotator cuff"?
The tendons and muscles that connect the humerus (the upper arm bone) to the scapula (the shoulder blade) are collectively called the "rotator cuff."

What is "frozen shoulder"?
"Frozen shoulder" occurs when connective tissues around the shoulder stiffen and scar tissue forms, causing shoulder movements to become stiff and painful.

What causes "frozen shoulder"?
"Frozen shoulder" can develop after surgery, an injury, or overuse, or be caused by a chronic condition like diabetes and arthritis. Any problem that causes you to stop using your shoulder normally or to lose range of motion can develop into frozen shoulder.

How can you treat shoulder inflammation, swelling, and pain?
Treatments include rest, ice or heat, compression, and pain relievers. Steroid injections may be used in severe cases, though their use should be minimized as they can cause damage over time.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

While back injuries are the most common workplace injury, shoulder injuries keep employees away from work for longer periods of time. In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that almost 89,000 workers in the U.S suffered shoulder injuries, resulting in a median of 26 days away from work – more than any other work-related injury. Every year, millions of people seek medical treatment for shoulder pain, and shoulder injuries cost workers and businesses millions of dollars. Many work activities – including reaching and lifting – can strain the body and cause musculoskeletal injuries to the back, neck, shoulders, and limbs. Shoulder injuries range from simple-yet-painful sprains and strains to torn tendons and broken bones. If not treated properly, they can lead to permanent stiffness, weakness, and pain, and cause progressive degeneration of the shoulder joint.

Additional Resources

Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:

  • Texas Department of Insurance –
  • TDI publications -
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) –
  • OSHA Grant Materials -
  • WebMD –
  • WebMD Guides -
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