Today we’re going to talk about musculoskeletal disorders.

Musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs are pain and disorders in the upper and lower limbs, back and neck caused by the work a person does.

The main causes of MSDs in the workplace are manual handling, display screen equipment and the use of a workstation.

Employees should report any symptoms they have to their employer, who have a duty to do something to manage any MSDs and reduce the likelihood of a recurring problem. This could be through more breaks, redesigning a workstation or breaking down loads to be lifted.

Employers may be able to refer employees to an occupational health service provider, but if this is not possible for any reason then employees should go to their GP as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis.

Today we’re going to be talking about fragile roofs.

A fragile roof is one that can’t support a person’s weight. All roofs should be considered fragile unless you know for a fact that they aren’t. If a roof is considered to be fragile, signage should be in place stating this.

No one should be expected to go on a fragile roof without the proper equipment, training and experience, and if it is possible to do so, then working from the roof should be avoided. An example of this may be replacing any roof sheets from the inside of the building or using MEWPs to inspect the roof or clean gutters.

If someone does have to go on a fragile roof, remember they should not walk along the line of fixing bolts and they should be competent in roof works.

Silica is a natural substance found in varying amounts in most rocks, sand and clay. In construction it is found in concrete, mortar, sandstone and brick.

You generate dust from these materials during many common construction tasks. These include cutting, drilling, grinding and polishing. Some of this dust is fine enough to get deep into your lungs. The fine dust is known as respirable crystalline silica (RCS) and is too fine to see with normal lighting. It is commonly called silica or silica dust.

Silica is the biggest risk to construction workers after asbestos. Heavy and prolonged exposure to RCS can cause lung cancer and other serious respiratory diseases; these include Silicosis.

The amounts needed to cause this damage are not large.

Common controls used are:

  • Water suppression of dust
  • On-tool extraction of dust
  • Using respiratory protective equipment such as dust masks and half mask respirators