Is Manual Handling Involved?

Some of the most common causes of work-related sickness absence are muscular disorders. The main categories for musculoskeletal disorders are:

  1. Neck/thoracic/spine
  2. Lumbar spine/trunk
  3. Shoulder
  4. Elbow
  5. Hand/wrist/arm
  6. Hip/knee
  7. Ankle/foot

Many different tasks/activities can aggravate or cause musculoskeletal disorders. The most common activity attributed to hand/wrist/arm disorders is a repetitive forceful element required in the task. The lumbar spine/trunk disorders are commonly attributed to manual handling of loads for example in occupations such as nursing and driving/delivery personnel.

A key element of musculoskeletal surveillance is gathering an accurate history of health status, allowing the Occupational Health practitioner to recommend appropriate safe work practices.

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