Occupational Overuse Syndrome
Management should recognise the importance of analysing the immediate working environment of each employee’s workstation or work area. Tool design, and the frequency of movements necessary to effectively work in the particular environment, will always be carefully considered and addressed to minimise repetitive strain injuries. Employees should also receive sufficient instruction so as to be aware of the correct procedures in performing different tasks, which may otherwise result in Occupational Overuse Syndrome.
Occupational overuse syndrome checklist:-
- Is there an occupational overuse syndrome policy in place?
- Is management committed to the objectives of the policy?
- Have sufficient resources been provided to ensure that the objectives of the policy are met?
- Are all staff at all levels aware of, and do they understand, the policy?
- Are risk management systems in place to identify all occupational overuse syndrome hazards, and to assess and control the associated risks?
- Do the organisation’s records of injury and illness confirm that occupational overuse syndrome is being effectively controlled?
- Are all employees able to perform their duties in a reasonable degree of physical comfort, in a working posture that is relaxed and not strained?
- Do employees confirm that they are able to perform their work without frequent soreness of hands, arms, shoulders and back?
- Is there sufficient task variety so that workers are able to vary their posture and the muscle groups they predominantly use to carry out their work activities?
- If repetitive and/or forceful movements are involved in carrying out the task, have alternative work methods or tools been considered in order to minimise the amount of forceful, repetitive or awkward movements involved in the task?
- If repetitive and/or forceful movements are involved in carrying out the task, are sufficient breaks provided to allow recovery from muscle fatigue and variation in use of muscle groups?
- Is sufficient provision made for managing fluctuating workloads, so that excessive strain on operators is avoided?
- Have workers been trained in safe systems of work, and instructed in how to perform their duties and use the tools and equipment provided so as to avoid excessive stress and strain?Is early reporting of symptoms of occupational overuse syndrome encouraged?
- Are supervisors trained in appropriate response to reports of symptoms of occupational overuse syndrome?