The hazards associated with lifting and carrying, pushing and pulling, and upper limb intensive activity are cited in a significant number of musculoskeletal injury/ill-health reports. Practical problems associated with workplace measurement of exerted force and the application of standards for human capability present a barrier to the task risk assessment process.
HSE developed a suit of risk assessment tools, for regulatory inspectors and duty holders to provide simple risk assessment process which highlight the most significant risk factors. Using walk-through procedures and field trialling, advice was obtained and incorporated from subject matter experts, a joint regulatory advisory panel and duty holder health and safety managers, concerning the tool’s design and technical aspects for robustness, operational utility, and usability in real work situations.
The assessments are now a significant part of HSE’s digital MSD (musculoskeletal disorders) tools and are available to use free of charge. They have a logical step-by-step approach, employers, safety managers consultants and operators can use these tools to easily assess the risks posed by physical, strenuous activities. The assessor can then understand, interpret, categorise, and communicate the level of risk.
Our research ensured that the tool:
- is user-friendly;
- requires minimal expert knowledge;
- reduces/eliminates the need for measurement of force, by characterising hazards that are more readily determined/ observed in the workplace;
- identifies high-risk operations and intuitively indicates good practice; and
- is linked to relevant HSE guidance.
For further information see
On the 27th of April at 14:30 GMT, there is a live webinar demonstration of the tool. You can register here.