The purpose of using the ART tool is to identify significant risks and then reduce the level of risk in the task.
Where tasks require attention first look for 'higher order' solutions where it is reasonably practicable to eliminate the hazard; for example, through redesign of the work, substitution or replacement of tools or components, or automation of the task. Where these measures are not practicable, identify how tasks might be improved to avoid or reduce those factors that score Red. Then consider means to reduce the Amber scores. If scores for individual risk factors cannot be improved then the lowest order in the hierarchy of controls is to minimise the risks through measures such as suitable systems of work (eg task rotation schedules), PPE, training and/or appropriate health monitoring.
Key points when taking action
- Preventative measures can be simple and cost-effective (eg making changes to the working height or placement of work items can allow better arm postures).
- The people who are doing the repetitive work should be consulted when exploring and introducing risk reduction measures. This can help workers to develop greater commitment to their effective implementation. Employees can also be especially good at devising effective and practical improvement measures.
- Consider a number of possible solutions, preferably trying them out on a small scale before deciding on one to implement. Check that any changes do not create new health and safety risks elsewhere. It is also important to monitor the situation to make sure solutions are still effective at a later date (especially where their success depends on learning or a change in behaviour)
- You cannot prevent all ULDs. Suitable systems for early reporting of symptoms, proper treatment, rehabilitation and return to work are essential components for managing risks and any episodes of ULDs. For more information, refer to upper limb disorders in the workplace.
The approach to risk reduction involves identifying the key risk factors (such as those indicated by the ART tool as a red risk) and minimising their effect.
Risk factors are discussed in the following groups: