What are Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)?

What are Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)?

They are injuries or pain in the human musculoskeletal system, including the joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and structures that support limbs, neck and back. 

MSDs can arise from a sudden exertion (e.g., lifting a heavy object), or they can arise from making the same motions repeatedly repetitive strain, or from repeated exposure to force, vibration, or awkward posture.

Why and How is This Important To Me

Along with this being vital to the health and safety of your employees, the law requires employers to prevent the ill health of their workers. (A third of all injuries are Musculoskeletal Disorders.)

The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) will be conducting 1,000 inspections in October and November 2022 checking how workers are moving heavy or bulky materials – they will be targeting construction type businesses.

What Can I Do?

The first thing to do is allow the HSE inspectors access to your site – the HSE can enter any premises which inspectors think it necessary to enter for the purposes of enforcing HSWA (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974) and the relevant statutory provisions.

HSE inspectors do have the power to enter your site or premises, and though the HSE states it should only be at ‘reasonable times’, this can be overlooked if the inspector deems a situation to be immediately dangerous.

Don’t be surprised if you’re presented with a badge. If the inspector has ‘reasonable cause to apprehend serious obstruction’, they can bring a police officer to site with them.

If an inspector arrives at your door at a reasonable time, you will not be able to prevent them from entering. However, if your site and equipment has been regularly and thoroughly inspected and maintained, you should have nothing to worry about.

Employment and Training Records

Along with doing the right thing to protect your employee’s health you need to ensure that:

  • You have good induction records
  • Training records – both for the equipment to be used filters
  • Records of all Risk Assessments and that they were shared with those who may be affected
  • Ideally, the Risk Assessments should be written with the input from your employees who do the role
  • Record all ‘toolbox talks’ and ensure all attendees sign a document to prove that they were there
  • Ensure you have reviewed the HSE website on moving and handling

Please see here to review the HSE website on Musculoskeletal Disorders

What can Towergate Do To Help?

Towergate Risk Management can provide support to help you develop your risk management controls to enhance your Health and Safety compliance.

By having good risk management controls in place, you can feel more comfortable that the chances of an incident occurring are significantly reduced, and if it does happen you will be in a much better position to support the investigations and defend yourself.