Work related injuries

Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD) is a term used to describe people who suffer from diffuse pain anywhere in the arm and/or neck. It can be caused by repetitive or forceful activities or by poor posture. There are a number of different terms used to describe work related injuries which can be confusing. The most well known is probably Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Essentially WRULD and RSI refer to the same condition but the former is considered more appropriate because the condition may not arise from a strain or an injury and so the more general term encompasses all aspects of the problem.

Employers have a legal obligation to take action to prevent the occurrence of risks of injury or illness which are reasonably foreseeable in relation to their employees. All such action should be based on the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Health and Safety Regulations 1992. But some of the responsibility also rests with the employee so it is important to understand how your work station should be set up and what you can best do to avoid injury.

Ergonomic guidelines aim to find the best environment to suit your body and the work you carry out. There are a lot of things you can do without needing to buy expensive equipment. One of the first things to check is if your workstation is symmetrical i.e. is the monitor or place that your write at straight in front of you? Are the files or equipment you access most frequently close by you and balanced out on both the left and right sides? You will need a supportive and adjustable chair if you are sitting for long periods and your feet should be flat on the floor or on a foot stall if they do not reach. Finally it is essential to take regular breaks.

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