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.
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.
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 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 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:
Also see our blog articles related to this service:
- What is a DSE Risk Assessment?
- What is a Workstation Assessment?
- Occupational Health Assessment for back pain
- Mobile & Homeworking DSE Assessment
- Pain using an non-adjustable chair
- Pain using an office chair – 7 Top Tips
See our Useful Links page which includes diagnosis specific advice from organisations which can help.