Safety at Work

10 tips for preventing WRULDs in your workplace

Maintaining a safe work environment for your employees also means ensuring you prevent WRULDs from happening in your workplace. Work related upper limb disorders (WRULD) is a collective term used to describe a group of diseases that consist of musculo-skeletal disorders caused by performing a job function in the workplace. They affect muscles, tendons, nerves, blood vessels, joints and bursae (the shock absorbers in our joints). Here are 10 tips you can use to prevent WRULDs in your workplace.

If you don't manage WRULDs in your workplace, you'll be liable for all the medical expenses and compensation payments of your injured employees. You could also be charged with not complying with the COID Act, warns the Health and Safety Advisor.

You're better off not taking that risk.

Use these 10 ways to avoid WRULDs from happening in your workplace

To ensure you protect your employees you can improve task and equipment design by applying good ergonomic principles. Pay attention to the design of tools, equipment, workstations, tasks and work methods. This is made easier if you:

  1. Choose tools and equipment appropriate for the job and suitable for employees who have to use them.
  2. Keep all your tools in good condition so they're easy to use. For example, cutting tools must be kept sharp.
  3. Provide power tools where you can.
  4. Always choose tools with handles that allow your employees to work with their limbs in natural alignment.
  5. Redesign workstations to put all controls within easy reach.
  6. Provide seats and other equipment that can be adjusted to maintain good posture. Make sure your employees know how to make the adjustments.
  7. Give your employees enough space to work. The legal requirement is 2.25 square metres of open floor space per person.
  8. Redesign tasks to minimise repetitive movements, static handling and sustained postures.
  9. Redesign your work methods to avoid overreaching and other awkward postures.
  10. Automate tasks where possible.
Using these tips will help ensure your employees are safe and aren't affected by WRULDs.

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Alexandr Grigorev


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