What are Upper Limb Disorders?
What are ULD’s?
Answer: Upper limb disorders (ULD’s) affect the arms from shoulder to fingers or the neck including problems with the soft tissues, muscles, tendons and ligaments, along with the circulatory and nerve supply to the limb.
What causes a ULD?
Answer: Repetitive work, uncomfortable working postures, sustained or excessive force, carrying out a task for a long period of time. Poor working environment and organisational factors such as temperature, lighting and work pressure, job demands, work breaks or lack of them.
What are the symptoms?
Answer: Stiffness or pain from joints and inability to straighten or bend those joints. Aches and pains, tenderness, stiffness, weakness, tingling, numbness, cramp and swelling to muscles of the arms or the neck.
These symptoms may suggest overuse or damage to the limb or some underlying condition, if you are concerned please speak to your Doctor/GP.
“I am constantly using the computer – my wrists/shoulders are always aching – what duties does my employer have and how can I relieve the symptoms”?
Answer: Employers have duties under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 to assess and reduce risks, ensure workstations meet minimum requirements, plan work so there are breaks or changes of activity, provide eye tests on request, and provide health and safety training and information.
You should ask for a DSE assessment and explain the problems you are experiencing. There are some simple steps you can take that can help you avoid aches and pains, such as adjusting your chair and VDU equipment to find a comfortable position, using good keyboard and mouse technique, and varying your activities or taking breaks to avoid sitting in the same position for long periods.
What law applies to ULDs?
Answer: Employers have legal duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to ensure the health and safety of employees at work and assess and reduce potential risks. These duties extend to preventing work-related upper limb disorders (ULDs) or stopping them getting worse. Your employer has a duty to do something if there is a problem which your work is causing or if it is aggravating existing symptoms and may be able to refer you to an occupational health provider for some medical help.
In addition employers have duties under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 to assess and reduce risks, ensure workstations meet minimum requirements, plan work so there are breaks or changes of activity, provide eye tests on request, and provide health and safety training and information for those working with computers and similar equipment.
Call Roberts Jackson now for more information on these matters. We specialise in ALL work related muscular injuries and our services are FREE!
0800 612 3152