The HSE – UK’s Health and Safety Executive, has announced a new downloadable tool for businesses and organizations to help reduce the probability of employees suffering from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of the arms and upper torso associated with repetitive tasks.
In the UK the most common industrial illness is MSD. Affecting more than 500,000 people every year and stemming from repetitive work tasks such as material packing or the regular use of hand tools.
Quoted from the HSE website:
Why use the ART Tool?
The Assessment of Repetitive Tasks (ART) tool is a method that helps you to:
- Identify repetitive tasks that have significant risks and where to focus risk reduction measures
- Prioritize repetitive tasks for improvement
- Consider possible risk reduction measures
- Meet legal requirements to ensure the health and safety of employees who perform repetitive work
How does it work?
The ART tool uses a numerical score and a traffic light approach to indicate the level of risk for twelve factors. These factors are grouped into four stages:
- A: Frequency and repetition of movements
- B: Force
- C: Awkward postures of the neck, back, arm, wrist and hand
- D: Additional factors, including breaks and duration
The factors are presented on a flow chart, which leads you, step-by-step, to evaluate and grade the degree of risk. The tool is supported by an assessment guide, providing instruction to help you to score the repetitive task you are observing. There is also a worksheet to record your assessment.
For more information or to download this tool please go to the HSE’s website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/uld/art/