Main causes of injury / occupational ill health
Manual handling / musculoskeletal injuries
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the largest cause of injury in laundering and dry-cleaning..
How do you know if you have a problem?
Injury and health problems show up in different ways, such as:
- cases of injury to backs and limbs
- aches and pains
- poor product quality
- high material waste
- low output
- frequent worker complaints and rest stops
- do-it-yourself improvements to work stations and tools (eg seat padding)
- workers wearing bandages, splints, rub-ons, copper bracelets or magnets.
If you have a problem it will be costing money from sickness absence, high staff turnover, retraining, loss of production etc. Compensation cases are increasing, and problems may affect your insurance premiums.
Managing the risk
- Identify which tasks present a serious risk of acute injury (eg from lifting) or chronic injury (eg from repetitive upper body work).
- Assess these tasks in detail to decide what factors lead to the risk
- Introduce mechanisation where this is reasonably practicable, eg trolleys, powered trucks, conveyors, , or automation.
- Introduce measures to prevent injury, eg reduce loads by restricting bag size, improve ergonomic design of work stations and work areas, job rotation, training, medical surveillance, job transfer
- Consult fully with trade union safety representatives or other employee representatives and workers to ensure effective and workable solutions to problems.