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Minimum requirements to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders Dec 30th, 2014
WMSDs are typically viewed as related to manual handling and as such risk management is targeted at addressing the physical aspects of jobs and tasks. However, effective risk management for MSD needs to accurately identify, assess and control the most relevant worksite risk factors for a particular job, not particular tasks. To determine what these risk factors are a participative systems approach is needed using hazard surveillance evidence collected from employees within a particular job.

Risk factors for WMSDs include psychosocial and physical hazards; therefore, to ensure effective WMSD risk management practice all relevant hazards must be identified and systematically controlled.

Research evaluating the effectiveness of various workplace interventions intended to reduce WMSD risk has identified the following key factors:

  1. A multifactorial approach–addressing psychosocial hazards concurrently with manual handling hazards;

  2. Participation by workers and their representatives, along with other stakeholders including supervisors and key managers, and management commitment which includes ensuring that workers have the time needed to participate in risk management processes and that risk controls are implemented as fully as practicable

Better understanding of MSD aetiology, based on current research evidence is required. One approach that would address these key requirements is a risk management toolkit. 

The advantage of the toolkit approach is that it can be customised by organisations to fit into their existing policies and procedures, while still offering a more holistic approach to WMSD risk management.

Next- Designing Worksite Toolkit for MSD Risk


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