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MSD Online Assessment Tool Help Section

Welcome to help section of the MSD online assessment tool. To help you get the most of using the tool, we have put together some guides and how-to videos that explain each part of the process. If there is any other content or you have some suggestions about what could be included in this section, please email - hseorders@tso.co.uk

Step 1: Introduction to Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)

To use the tool effectively, you need to have a good understanding of workplace MSDs. The overview video and guidance below will provide the background knowledge required to successfully create and complete assessments.

Why these MSD Tools?

Training from Matt Birtles

Supporting publications / guidance

Legal Guidance on Manual handling Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

This publication will help you, as an employer, comply with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (the Regulations), as amended by the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002.1 If you follow the guidance it will help you manage, control and reduce the risk of injury from manual handling. It will also be useful to managers, safety representatives, employees and others.

Manual handling at work: A brief guide

An introduction for employers and those responsible for health and safety

Managing upper limb disorders in the workplace: A brief guide

An introduction for employers and those responsible for health and safety

Making the best use of lifting and handling aids

This guidance is intended for managers, employees and their representatives and others involved in the selection of lifting and handling aids.

Work related musculoskeletal disorders statistics

In 2019/20 there were an estimated 480,000 workers affected by WRMSDs. This represents 1,420 per 100,000 workers and results in an estimated 8.9 million working days lost. In 2019/20 WRMSDs accounted for30% of all work-related ill health and 27% of all days lost due to work-related ill-health.

Legal Guidance on Manual handling Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

This publication will help you, as an employer, comply with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (the Regulations), as amended by the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002.1 If you follow the guidance it will help you manage, control and reduce the risk of injury from manual handling. It will also be useful to managers, safety representatives, employees and others.

Step 2: Plan to create the assessment

The second stage of the process is to set-up your organisations demographics and to create an assessment schedule.

The system includes the functionality to filter the organisational report based on the demographics or task. Therefore, it is important you set this up correctly, so you can make the best decisions based on the data it provides.

Deciding how frequent you will conduct these assessments and creating a schedule is an important planning phase. Your manual handling risk assessment should be reviewed regularly to ensure that the risk of staff being harmed has not changed and that no further control measures are needed.

Step 3: Building and creating the assessment - premium version only

The third stage is to set-up your assessments using the tool for your assessors to complete. The videos below will guide you through this process and show you how to use the system to add your company demographics and details.

MAC Tool - Building and creating the assessment

Building and creating the assessment (MAC)

ART Tool - Building and creating the assessment

Building and creating the assessment (ART)

RAPP Tool - Building and creating the assessment

Building and creating the assessment (RAPP)

Step 4: Completing the assessment

The fourth stage is to start completing the assessments. There is guidance for the administrator of the tool and the assessor who is completing the assessment.

Guidance for administrator:

Guidance for assessor:


MAC Tool - Completing an assessment

Completing an assessment (MAC)

ART Tool - Completing an assessment

Completing an assessment (ART)

RAPP Tool - Completing an assessment

Completing an assessment (RAPP)

Step 5: Analysing the results - premium version only

Once assessments have been completed, the MSD Tool consolidates all the assessments in one central system, so they can be easily reviewed and analysed. The video guides below will show you how to monitor and analyse your results, so you can identify priority areas and achieve a robust manual handling risk management programme.

How to analyse the results using the HSE MSD Online Assessment Tool

Analyse the results

  • RAPP coming soon
  • ART coming soon

Step 6: Review

We recommend setting up a separate follow up review assessment to reassess the tasks that have a high risk and/or that had substantial control measures put in place. These assessments will act as a review of control measures and identify if additional control measures are required to reduce the risks further.

Additional support

HSE Training on MSD's for Assessors

Manual handling is one of the main causes of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), which are the second most common occupational injuries within the UK and make up nearly half of all work-related ill health seen by general practitioners (GPs) are MSD related.

Prevention and control of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) is a major priority and as such HSE have published a simple but effective risk assessment method called the MAC tool. This enables risk identification of key manual handling risk factors so that these can be eliminated or managed in the most cost-effective way.

This course will equip you with the knowledge to help recognise, assess and reduce manual handling risks in your organisation. It is suited to employers and employee representatives who intend to begin the process of manual handling risk assessment and control within their companies. It will also benefit those already involved in manual handling risk reduction who require more formal or in-depth training in this subject, including training in the use of specific manual handling assessment tools.

The course will cover:

  • Principles of manual handling
  • Understanding injuries
  • Common types of injuries
  • Legal aspects
  • Key risk factors
  • Manual handling risk assessment (MAC and L23)
  • Pushing and pulling
  • Control and reduction of risk
  • Key principles of good handling techniques
  • Case studies

Click on link to book course on Manual Handling for Assessors