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FAQs - Lower limb disorders

What are LLDs?

Answer: Lower limb disorders (LLDs) affect the legs and feet, from hips to toes. About 80% of damage to the hips, knees and legs at work is due to overuse. Workers may report lower limb pain, aching and numbness without a specific disease being identified or present.

What causes LLDs?

Answer: The most common risk factors at work are:

What are the symptoms of LLDs?

Answer: Pain, tenderness or stiffness of the joint, unable to straighten or bend those joints. Tenderness aches and pains, stiffness, weakness, tingling, numbness, cramp and swelling to the muscles of the lower limbs. These symptoms may suggest overuse or some underlying condition and, if you are concerned, seek advice from your Doctor/GP.

Scientific evidence suggests that there are several recognised diseases of the lower limb which can be work related such as: hip and knee osteoarthritis; knee bursitis, meniscal lesions/tears; stress fracture/reaction injury and varicose veins of the lower legs.

How can I prevent LLDs?

Answer: Because most injury happens as a result of overuse, the most effective way to reduce the risk is to provide/use mechanical aids or rotate duties to reduce the time spent carrying out a 'risky' task and give time for recovery. Where possible, provide seating rather than requiring people to squat or kneel and have regular breaks. Provide personal protective equipment such as:

What law applies to LLDs?

Answer: Employers have legal duties under:

These duties include ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of employees at work, and assessing and reducing potential risks to their health, safety and wellbeing. Employers have a duty to do something if there is a problem which is causing or aggravating existing symptoms - this may include providing protective clothing or referral to an occupational health provider for some medical help.

Updated 2017-09-15