Currently in Great Britain, there are 498,000 workers suffering with a new or long-standing musculoskeletal disorder, resulting in 6.9 million working days to be lost as a result of this every single year (HSE 2018/19). Given how common these disorders are within the workplace, and the direct negative impact it can have on productivity levels, it’s important employers are aware of these disorders, and how it impacts their employees and their business. This is not only to help prevent them musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace as far is as reasonably possible, but also to ensure that employees who are already affected by a disorder are supported fully at work. Find out more in the below post.
Musculoskeletal disorders affect the muscles, joints and tendons in all parts of the body, and generally progress over a period of time, however they can also occur as a result of an accident. Within the workplace, musculoskeletal disorders can occur due to some of the following reasons:
Continual exposure to any of these risk factors can result in long term MSDs.
An employee may be affected in some of the following ways:
Musculoskeletal disorders can affect workers in various industries, particularly in jobs where an employee is in a set position for an extended period of time, or uses repetitive motions. However, industries with higher than average rates of these disorders include:
Regardless of the industry, you work in, it is important to address that risk factors that are presented, and control these factors as far as is reasonably possible. This is something that a dedicated health surveillance provider can help you with.
There are several laws in place that are in relation to musculoskeletal disorders, therefore compliance is mandatory. In order to work in line with legislation, initially, health and safety and risk assessments should be carried out to identify the hazards that employees are exposed to in the workplace. Then, as part of a wider health surveillance service, measures can be put in place to ensure that these risks are being controlled as far as is reasonably possible.
Ergonomics helps to asses the relationship between people and their job, to ensure there is a healthy fit between the two. An occupational health advisor is able to spot hazards, assess ergonomic issues, and recommend how applying ergonomics can help to reduce the risk of MSDs’ occurring. These ergonomic recommendations depend on an individuals’ job role and the tasks they carry out as part of this, their physical and psychological characteristics, as well as the organisation and environment that the person works in.
Some of the measures put in place to help control ergonomic risks include:
If you would like to find out more about how our health surveillance service can help you to prevent musculoskeletal disorders from occurring in the workplace, get in touch with our occupational health team today.
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