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Identification of MSD Risk Factors

Risk blocks

Back pain risk factors

  • Manual handling especially in awkward positions (e.g. delivery work). For more information, see the Manual Handling risk factors checklist and L23 Schedule
  • Poor posture (e.g. stooping, bending, crouching)
  • Stretching, twisting, reaching
  • Pushing, pulling or dragging loads using excessive force
  • Working beyond normal limits or when fatigued
  • Heavy manual labour
  • Performing lighter but repetitive tasks (such as packing)
  • Sitting for a long period of time (e.g. at an incorrectly adjusted office workstation). For more information, see the DSE risk factors checklist.
  • Driving long distances or over rough ground  or operating heavy equipment (e.g. excavators). For more information, see HSE guidance on Whole Body Vibration.

Upper limb disorder risk factors - click here

Lower limb disorder risks - click here

Further information can be accessed through the following sources:


HSE webpages

Preventing back pain

Advice on living with back pain

Guidance on Manual Handling Operations Regulation

Work with Display Screen Equipment: Guidance on Regulations

Whole-body vibration: The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005. Guidance on Regulations

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