FAQs - Upper Limb Disorders
How can I prevent ULDs?
Answer: Because most injury happens as a result of incorrect posture, working in unusual positions, or heavy lifting/carrying, the most effective way to reduce the risk is to:
- provide/use mechanical aids;
- rotate duties to reduce the time spent carrying out a 'risky' task and give time for recovery;
- have regular breaks;
- where possible, provide proper seating;
- risk assess workstations to identify potential problems and tackle those problems – particularly where you are using a computer or other piece of static equipment.
I am required to constantly use a computer – my wrists/shoulders are always aching. What must my employer do and how can I relieve the symptoms?
Answer: You should ask for a DSE assessment and explain the problems you are experiencing. There are some simple steps you can take that can help you avoid aches and pains, such as adjusting your chair and DSE equipment to find a comfortable position, using good keyboard and mouse technique, and varying your activities or taking breaks to avoid sitting in the same position for long periods.
There is more detailed advice in Working with display screen equipment.
What law applies to ULDs?
Answer: Employers have legal duties under:
- the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974;
- the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999; and
- the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
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. For ULDs this risk assessment may be done as part of a workstation assessment and putting in place such reasonable adjustments as the assessment requires.
- Manual handling at work: A brief guide
- Managing upper limb disorders in the workplace
- Manual handling assessment charts
- Risk assessment of pushing and pulling (RAPP) tool
- Making the best use of lifting and handling aids