The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland is urging employers in the haulage and logistics sector to make a New Year resolution to help prevent Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) within their workforce.
MSD is the collective term given to any injury, ache or damage of the joints or tissues in the upper or lower limbs or back. Workers engaged in manual handling and activities that involve the moving of items either by lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying can be at particular risk.
HSENI Principal Inspector Kellie McNamara said: “The movement of almost all goods in Northern Ireland involves road transport. As we welcome 2023 we are urging employers in the haulage and logistics sector to work with us to reduce work-related serious injury and ill health caused by MSD.
“Taking some simple step to properly assess the risks associated with manual handling could prevent serious and potentially long-term injury to workers.”
Until the end of March, HSENI inspectors will specifically look at the controls that employers have in place to manage risks associated with moving and handling. Inspectors will also provide information and advice to employers on the risk of MSD associated with manual handling MSD is often developed over months or years.
The term cover conditions with specific medical diagnoses such as tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis (also known as tennis elbow) and non-specific syndromes, such as repetitive strain injury.
Employers have a legal duty to assess and then eliminate or reduce the risk of employees suffering MSDs that are caused or aggravated by their work to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.
Where significant risks are found HSENI Inspectors may take enforcement action to achieve compliance with health and safety legislation.
Practical guidance on preventing work-related MSD can be found at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/logistics/manual-handling.htm