If you think you may be suffering from an Upper Limb Disorder (ULD) that may be caused or aggravated by your work there are things you can do to help yourself and also help your employer to help you.
If you have any symptoms described in the section 'What are ULDs you should tell your manager, supervisor, health and safety representative or other workers rep.
The type of symptoms you should be particularly aware of are:
It is important that you report these symptoms as soon as possible (along with any others which are concerning you) as help could be available.
Overall you should not panic if you are suffering symptoms. People with ULDs usually completely recover if the problem is recognised early and treated appropriately. Also once your employer knows about problems in the workplace something can be done to reduce the likelihood of the problem recurring once you have recovered.
By reporting symptoms early, your employer will have information from which he can assess whether there is a problem and they may want to observe your job. Other workers may be having similar problems and unless someone reports the problem it may not be tackled. There may need to be adaptations to your workplace such as the tools or equipment you use, or to the organisation of the work such as rest breaks, pace of the work, or the work environment such as the temperature or lighting. These adaptations may be permanent and apply to a group of workers or may be temporary and specific for you as an individual whilst you are dealing with a current problem or recovering from your symptoms.
Your employer may be able to refer you to an occupational health provider for some medical help.
An occupational health provider will:
If your workplace does not have access to this type of support you may need to go and see your GP and explain to them the symptoms you have and the type of work that you do. They should be able to provide some help and advice on your specific problem or refer you to another health professional who can.
If you need help to quickly and effectively address the issue of employee health, minimise the impact of staff illness, and provide essential support to staff with physical or mental health issues you can contact: