Ergonomic Assessment & Return-to-Work – Case Study

This Ergonomic Assessment & Return-to-Work Case Study  shows the positive outcome when Occupational Health Services are utilised.

The Need:

A lady was working with neck pain, aches in her wrists and upper arm pain. This had worsened despite previous assessments and adjustments in the workplace. She was on long term sick leave, for more than 1 year and wanted to return to work.

The Objective:

To assess the work tasks and the employee, with a view to her returning to work with suitable adjustments and a graduated return to work programme. Therefore an Ergonomic Assessment and Return to work programme were required. This assessment falls under the DSE Regulations 1992 and Equality Act 2010, to consider reasonable adjustments in the workplace in order to rehabilitate an employee back to work.

The Solution:

The lady attended her workplace for the assessment. The medical problems were discussed and advice was given on future health management.

The workstation was assessed, which involved assessing the desk, chair, computer equipment in use and optimal layout of the equipment when performing various tasks.

Also the performance of other tasks were assessed and the task mix and the taking of breaks and postural changes were discussed.

Lighting and other environmental factors were also considered. Improvements that could be made during the assessment were conducted.

A return to work plan was agreed with the lady and with the manager, to re-introduce her to work and to gradually increase her hours over the following weeks.

It was important that she did not return until the assessment recommendations were in place. Follow ups were also recommended to support her in the return to work process.

An advice sheet was provided to summarise the recommendations made and to provide the main points to consider when setting up the work area.

A full written report was compiled after the visit, summarising each factor of the work area and the recommendations. This included recommending suitable furniture and desk top items to make her more comfortable. Listing the specific products and the supplier details. Also detailing a specific plan of hours for her to commence.

The Result:

The equipment was purchased and the lady was able to return to work and gradually increase her hours.

She was able to implement the advice and recommendations.

She gained more understanding regarding managing her medical condition when performing work tasks.

Several follow up visits were conducted to provide further support, advice about increasing her work hours. Overall, contact was maintained for a further 14 months.

This lady is now working full time, managing her condition successfully and knows what her working abilities, needs and solutions are.

See our other Case Studies:

Ergonomic Assessment in an Office Role Case Study

Ergonomic Assessment of a Teacher Case Study

Ergonomic Assessment of Office Tasks Case Study

Also see our blog articles related to this service:

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Ergonomic Assessment & Return-to-Work – Case Study

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Capital International

Healthywork were very efficient and able to help us with several situations. If you need a fresh pair of eyes with a medical focus to look at an employee health issue, I would recommend them.

Jo Byrne, Central London

KMG Health Partners Ltd

Alison Biggs has been a Specialised Assessor on KMG Health Partners roster since its UK inception in 2004. We highly recommend her based on her knowledge, skills, diversity, quality and client / customer care. She has also been extremely flexible with scheduling and geographic locations. You can expect positive outcomes from accessing her service.

Ergonomic Assessments, Functional Capacity Evaluations and Job Demands Analysis for clients over the UK: including, Devon, Bristol, Kent, London, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Bedfordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland.

Gail Kovacs

Avantek Computer Ltd

Alison @healthywork provided a very comprehensive report with recommendations to suit our clients needs. A very professional service.

Ergonomic Assessments provided in Bath, Oxford and Leicestershire.

Tony Lees, Avantek Computer Ltd, Leicestershire

David Higham Associates

They (the employees) were all happy with the work you did on the day you came in. Thanks a lot for your help. (Workstation Risk Assessments, November 2011)

Tine Nielsen David Higham Associates


Healthywork Ltd have been extremely helpful over the last year and provided us with a very good service at very short notice.

The quality of their work place assessment reports and recommendations are extremely high. In addition, the employees involved have commented on the extremely helpful knowledge and support provided by the work place assessor.

(Assessments provided in Bristol and Central London).

Sarah de Vere, HR Manager, Higher Education Funding Council for England, based in Bristol

Viridor Ltd

I found today’s assessment very helpful indeed, and am trying my best to keep my keyboard as close to me as possible – makes a big difference when I do, it’s even increased my speed and accuracy, lol.

Also, and more to the point, the pain in my back hasn’t got any worse today, and I haven’t used the wrist support, so having my arms supported (on arm rests) is clearly doing something for them already.

V. Jones Viridor Ltd

ARK Schools

Ergonomic Assessments at ARK in London and at one of the Academies in Elephant and Castle, South london, assessing the ergonomic needs of teachers.

ARK Schools, based in Central london

Somek and Associates

I have known and worked with Alison Biggs of Healthywork since 2003. I have always found her to be extremely professional and committed any work project, and very knowledgeable about her specialist field.

Ergonomic Assessments and Functional Capacity Assessments for Medico-legal cases provided in Essex, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and London.

Alison Somek


Alison is professional at all times, she is easy to work with, adaptable and open to discussing how, through the reports she produces she can meet the changing needs of her clients.

Elaine Cook


Alison has carried out 100s of assessments for AME some of which have involved multi disciplinary work with other stakeholders such as physiotherapists, computer technicians. Her work with the NHS and medical knowledge has brought an enhanced level of credibility to the work based employment assessment that she undertakes.

Clients trust her, she is diplomatic and highly professional at all times even when placed under considerable pressure to meet tight deadlines and juggle conflicting priorities.

Andy Taylor, Access Made Easy