Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common occupational illness in Britain. They include problems such as low back pain, joint injuries and repetitive strain injuries of various sorts, and affect more than 500,000 people every year. They are often linked to fairly simple repetitive workplace tasks, such as packing on a production line or the regular use of hand tools, so it is easy for employers to fail to recognise the risks such practices pose to employees.
The Health and Safety Executive has made available an Assessment of Repetitive Tasks (ART) tool, to help businesses reduce the likelihood of their workers developing MSDs of the upper limbs associated with performing the same task repeatedly. The ART tool is designed to help you assess the common risk factors associated with repetitive work that contribute to the development of upper limb disorders. It can help you identify where the significant risks lie in your workplace, suggest where to focus risk reduction measures and help prioritise improvements.
Click here to download the ART tool and complete an assessment of repetitive tasks in your workplace.