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Musculoskeletal disorders

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the most commonly reported causes of occupational ill health in Great Britain.

They include disorders of the back, upper limbs and lower limbs, the former two being the most common. MSDs are prevalent in all sectors but agriculture, fisheries, logistics and transport, construction and health and social care have significantly higher than average rates. Both physical and psychosocial factors can contribute to work-related MSDs, and they can be aggravated by people's activities outside work and their general health and fitness.

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Also available from the HSE:

Manual Handling

INDG269 Managing musculoskeletal disorders in checkout work: A brief guide (PDF)opens in new window

INDG171 Managing upper limb disorders in the workplace: A brief guide PDF (PDF)opens in new window

INDG439 Reducing manual handling risks in carpet retail (PDF)opens in new window

INDG398 Making the best use of lifting and handling aids (PDF)opens in new window

Online tutorial on how to use the Manual handling assessment chart (MAC) toolopens in new window

HSG196 Moving food and drinks: Manual handling solutions for the food and drinks industries (PDF)opens in new window

Roll cages and wheeled racksopens in new window


Picking up the pieces: Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders in the ceramics industry (PDF)opens in new window

General Guidance

Management of Health and Safety at Workopens in new window

Workplace Health, Safety and Welfareopens in new window