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Health monitoring and review

It may not be possible to prevent all cases of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) but there are things you can do, at work, to help prevent symptoms occurring or getting worse. Health monitoring is an informal, non-statutory method of surveying your workforce for symptoms of ill health, including lower back pain. This type of occupational health management system can enable you, as an employer, to be aware of health problems and intervene to prevent problems being caused or made worse by work activities. Another important role of health monitoring is to feedback into a system that reviews the current control methods in place.

In addition, there are specific regulations dealing with Manual Handling in the workplace. To ensure you are complying with your duties under these regulations you should refer to HSE guidance, if manual handling is a risk in your workplace.

How to carry out health monitoring

You should:

There are other things you can do to gain information on whether or not your workforce may be suffering. These include:


Reviewing the results of health monitoring provides an opportunity to look at the overall performance of your risk management control systems and may identify susceptible individuals. This process should be considered as an integral part of the management process. An effective review:

If as a result of health monitoring it looks like your controls may be failing you should review your risk assessment accordingly. You may need professional help and advice on this.

Occupational health provision or medical support/referral

You may have access to occupational health to which workers could be referred for help and advice with their symptoms. Occupational health provision is valuable for advising on management of cases.

MSD problems can be specific to an individual and each person is different and will need to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, so you may need to consider:

People with MSDs usually completely recover if the problem is recognised early and treated appropriately.