A new downloadable tool is now available to help businesses and
organisations reduce the likelihood of their employees suffering
from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of the upper limbs associated
with repetitive tasks.
MSDs are the most common occupational illness in Britain
affecting more than 500,000 people every year and are often linked
to repetitive work tasks such as packing on a production line or
the regular use of hand tools.
The Assessment of Repetitive Tasks (ART) tool, developed by the
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Health and Safety Laboratory
(HSL), can help identify where the significant risks lie, suggest
where to focus risk reduction measures and help prioritise
Jeremy Ferreira, Senior Ergonomist at HSL said:
"Assessing quick repetitive movements of the arms and hands can
be more difficult than assessing manual handling operations like
"Often actions to reduce MSDs caused by repetitive tasks are
incredibly simple, yet are overlooked by employers because the
risks are not so readily recognised.
"The ART tool makes it much easier to determine where the risks
lie, and what measures should be taken by employers together with
their workforce to reduce the potential for injury."
The tool complements existing HSE guidance on upper limbs, and
is available online at www.hse.gov.uk/msd/uld/art
 or in hard copy (INDG438).
Notes to Editors:
1. The Health and Safety Executive
(HSE) is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and
safety. It works to prevent death, injury and ill-health to those
at work and those affected by work activities. For more information
about the work of HSE, visit www.hse.gov.uk
2. Musculoskeletal disorders
(MSDs) include problems such as low back pain, joint injuries and
repetitive strain injuries of various sorts.
3. HSE priced and free
publications are available at www.hsebooks.co.uk
 or by mail order from HSE Books, PO Box 1999,
Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA
4. Free HSE leaflets can be
downloaded from HSE's website
Laura Byrne, Tel: 0151 951 4205