Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland launch New Year inspection programme to prevent Musculoskeletal Disorders in haulage and logistics sector

Date published: 10 January 2023

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is urging employers in the haulage and logistics sector to make a New Year resolution to help prevent Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) within their workforce.

MSD campaign

MSD is the collective term given to any injury, ache or damage of the joints or tissues in the upper or lower limbs or back. Workers engaged in manual handling and activities that involve the moving of items either by lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying can be at particular risk.

The call comes at the launch of an HSENI proactive, on-site inspection programme which begins this month (January).

HSENI Principal Inspector Kellie McNamara said: “The movement of almost all goods in Northern Ireland involves road transport. 

“As we welcome 2023 we are urging employers in the haulage and logistics sector to work with us to reduce work-related serious injury and ill health caused by MSD.

“Taking some simple steps to properly assess the risks associated with manual handling could prevent serious and potentially long-term injury to workers.”

Until the end of March, HSENI inspectors will specifically look at the controls that employers have in place to manage risks associated with moving and handling. Inspectors will also provide information and advice to employers on the risk of MSD associated with manual handling

MSD is often developed over months or years. The term covers conditions with specific medical diagnoses, such as tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis (also known as tennis elbow), and non-specific syndromes, such as repetitive strain injury.

Employers have a legal duty to assess and then eliminate or reduce the risk of employees suffering MSDs that are caused or aggravated by their work to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.

Where significant risks are found HSENI Inspectors may take enforcement action to achieve compliance with health and safety legislation.

Practical guidance on preventing work-related MSD can be found at the following link:

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department for the Economy (DfE), and is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland:
  2. For media enquiries, please contact: HSENI Press Office on 028 9024 3249 or by email:  For out of office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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