Musculoskeletal assessment

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), the term used to describe a variety of conditions including back pain, upper limb disorders (including RSI), neck pain and lower limb pain. They continue to be a significant problem for employers and employees alike in both industrial and office workplaces. Therefore assessing the risks of MSDs those employees may be exposed to is an essential aspect of the risk management process. 

We can work with employers to meet their statutory duties:

  • Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessments): We can complete a full assessment of all employees who are potentially exposed to the risks associated with DSE (computer-based work).
  • We can also conduct individual DSE assessments where specific needs are identified.
  • Manual Handling Assessment, we can conduct a manual handling assessment focussed on a particular job role or work task where an assessment of the risks is required. We can also conduct a manual handling assessment for an individual employee who has specific requirements or vulnerabilities which may increase the risk to their health.
  • Help to identify and reduce risks to employee health and safety.
  • Work with employers to help them retain workers by reducing risks and recommending intervention.

As an employer, by ensuring that your statutory duties have been met you are ensuring that your employees are protected against any hazards in their work that may expose them to risk of MSDs. Furthermore, you are protecting yourself from legislative action.

Beyond the benefits associated with meeting your statutory duties the following benefits can be expected:

  • A reduction in loss of staff who can no longer carry out their jobs
  • Mitigating reductions in productivity caused by staff who can’t work at the expected rate without injury

For employees, there are other implications including:

  • Inability to continue working in the same job if risks are not managed.
  • Having reduced the ability to work.

 

24.7% of European workers complain of a backache, 22.8% of muscular pains, 45.5% report working in painful or tiring positions.

ESWC

Not all MSDs are caused by work.  Some arise as a result of injuries outside the workplace, and some are the almost inevitable consequence of age-related degeneration.  However, if a condition stops an individual from working it is important to try and do something about it so that the employer retains valued experienced, workers – and employees keep their jobs.

An example of applied research in this area can be viewed at HSE and the Better Screen Data Report.

We have many years of experiencing in conducting risk assessments for private companies. This has been both as a company’s exclusive assessor for MSD risks as well as a great number of one-off assessments for specific or individual needs.

Health and safety legislation imposes duties on employers, reflecting the important cost of these problems to the community and the need to try and reduce the problems at the workplace, rather than waiting for injuries to happen.

If you have an enquiry about our ergonomics and human factors services please send us an email at ergonomics.humanfactors@iom-world.org. Alternatively, telephone Dr Joanne Crawford on 0131 449 8037
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