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Upper limb disorders

Work Related Upper limb disorders (WRULD’s) are also known as Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI). They affect the hand, wrist, arm and shoulder. The main risk factors are:

A combination of these risk factors can increase the likelihood of discomfort and injury. Additional factors relating specifically to tool and equipment design include:

person pouring from scoop at head height

The tablet scoop used for this activity dictates an awkward wrist posture. It also requires the arm to be raised above shoulder height because of the high position of the tablet hopper.

hand holding set of pincers

Using these pincers creates a pressure point in the palm of the hand. They also require a forceful grip to operate them.

Risk factors for the potential development of ULD’s occurring can be reduced or eliminated by considering the following:

Also consider the suitability of PPE, ensuring that it does not interfere with dexterity or movement.

Psychosocial factors may also influence the likelihood of problems developing and need to be taken into account.

Psychosocial risk factors are things that may affect workers psychological response to their work and workplace conditions (including working relationships with supervisors and colleagues).

Circumstances for particular consideration include:

Many tasks within pharmaceuticals manufacture or research and development can possess these risk factors.

As with physical risk factors, psychosocial issues are best addressed with full consultation and involvement of the workforce. The following control measures should be considered to reduce the risks from psychosocial factors:

Case studies

Updated 2019-10-09