Possible new focus on musculoskeletal risks

Following a European Union initiative, consideration is being given to consolidating the duty to control risks of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) under a single set of regulations. Presently the prevention of these conditions is the main focus of both the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 and the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment)Regulations 1992.

If MSD-related requirements were taken out of current laws and combined in a new Statutory Instrument, the eyesight testing obligations for display screen equipment users could become a health surveillance requirement under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Thus three pieces of legislation would be reduced to two. Deregulators could claim a success, but in practice employers would continue to have broadly the same obligations.

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