HSE launches online musculoskeletal risk assessment tools
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has launched free musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) risk assessment tools for businesses. Every business with more than 5 employees is obliged to carry out risk assessments. They are also sometimes recommended by occupational health professionals as step for businesses to consider.
The free online tools include HSE validated checks for Assessment of Repetitive Tasks, Risk Assessment of Pushing and Pulling and Manual Handling Assessment Charts.
Employers can use the MSD tool to easily assess the risks posed by physical or strenuous activities. The assessor can then understand, interpret, categorise, record and communicate the level of risk.
Short HSE videos explaining what the assessments cover, plus how they can be used, are available below.
Assessment of Repetitive Tasks
The assessment of repetitive tasks tool helps risk assess tasks that require repetitive moving of the upper limbs (arms and hands).
It is designed to help businesses assess some of the common risk factors in repetitive work that contribute to the development of work-related upper limb disorders. These are a common cause of sickness absence.
Repetitive tasks are typically found in assembly, production, processing, packaging, packing and sorting work, as well as work involving regular use of hand tools.
Risk Assessment of Pushing and Pulling
The risk assessment of pushing and pulling tool was developed to identify high-risk pushing and pulling operations and to check the effectiveness of any risk-reduction measures.
There are two types of pulling and pushing operations that can be assessed using the tool:
- moving loads on wheels, such as hand trolleys, pump trucks, carts or wheelbarrows
- moving loads without wheels, possibly involving dragging/sliding, pivoting and rolling
Manual Handling Assessment Charts
The manual handling assessment charts tool was developed to help identify high-risk workplace manual handling activities. It can be used to assess the risks posed by lifting, carrying and team manual handling activities.
Free demonstration webinars
The assessments are free, GDPR compliant and ISO certified. However, a premium service (starting at £400) is required to conduct multiple assessments throughout a year, or for those who want to be able to analyse their assessments.
The HSE holds regular free webinars demonstrating how to use the online assessment tools. They can be booked via links on the HSE webpage.