Muscles, bones and joints

How to prevent common injuries to muscles, bones and joints

Preventing injuries to muscles, bones and joints

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent injuries to muscles, bones and joints.

Reduce manual force

Reduce the weight of items or the distance they need to be moved to reduce the amount of manual force needed by your employees.

To help with this, you could use:

  • lightweight tools
  • a team of operators
  • levers such as a lift, hoist or forklift truck

Use the right working position

Design tasks and equipment to suit your employees. This involves taking into account differences in:

  • size
  • build
  • health
  • strength
  • right- or left-handed operations

To help with this, you could:

  • avoid the need for awkward postures
  • ensure enough space is available to do the job
  • design the work to prevent sudden movement of the body
  • provide platforms, tools and adjustable chairs
  • provide appropriate protective clothing, such as the right sized gloves with adequate grip

Improve the working environment

You can also reduce the risk of injury by improving the working environment.

To help with this, you could:

  • make sure the temperature is reasonable
  • avoid putting workstations near draughts
  • make sure the lighting is right for the job
  • provide suitable clothing to keep employees warm in cold workplaces

Monitor and review conditions

Act immediately on any signs and symptoms of ill health or injury, and encourage early reporting.

To help with this, you could:

  • provide safe and healthy working conditions that are reviewed and maintained to a good standard
  • consider health assessments upon an employee’s conditional offer of a job or as part of a health surveillance program

Provide training

You have a responsibility to make sure your employees know the right techniques to carry out their work and how to use tools and equipment correctly.​

Find out more

You can find more information on preventing injuries to muscles, bones and joints ​in our publication Health Risks at Work.