Musculoskeletal disorders in the ports and docks industry

Dock workers carry out a number of activities which, if not properly managed, may lead to a variety of 'musculoskeletal disorders' (MSDs).

These include back pain and muscle injuries, and are often the result of poor handling techniques or  tasks involving repetitive movements and/or excessive force.

Injuries can also be caused by the vibration created by some vehicles - this is known as whole-body vibration. Further guidance on whole-body vibration in ports is available.

Some people may not fully recover from MSDs and they can greatly affect your quality of life.

Where MSD hazards can be found in ports

How the risks can be reduced

For manual handling:

For whole-body vibration:

Which laws apply?

Updated 2021-11-09