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:

Contact Us

See our Useful Links page which includes diagnosis specific advice from organisations which can help.

Ergonomic Assessment & Return-to-Work – Case Study

Interested in working together?

If you would like to work with us, or find out more about what we do, get in touch!

Contact Us

Recent Posts


CRF Institute/Britains Top Employers

Our visit from Alison was an eye-opener. We thought that we knew what we were doing but every single team member learned something new. We learned how to use our equipment properly, we learned how to sit properly and we have all made adjustments to how we work since her visit. Everyone in the team has given feedback since that they are more comfortable in their daily work, and one person who has been in pain for months has changed her position and is now pain-free. Alison is friendly, easy to work with and great value for money. As manager, I thought that I would have to invest in a lot of new equipment but the reality is simply that we weren’t using what we had properly. I would definitely use Alison again and will write a workstation assessment into our on-boarding process for any new employees joining our team.

Eleanor Nickerson, Manager CRF Institute/Britains Top Employers

Qualification Curriculum Authority

Healthywork Clients - QCDA

Friendly, helpful and informative, since Healthywork assessed my workstation and advised me, my bad back is better. What more do I need to say?

Mr Sam Morris, Qualification Curriculum Authority, Central london

Atos Healthcare

Assessments for Atos Healthcare

Alison has provided a regular service to Atos Healthcare since July 2007. She is professional, flexible and delivers to timescales and her services have been valued by us and our customer Royal Mail.

Mrs Santu Bhudia, Atos Healthcare

DSE Risk Assessment Testimonial by EquiLend

DSE Risk Assessments for EquiLend

DSE Risk Assessment Testimonial by EquiLend:

‘The feedback has been excellent and many people have expressed how much they enjoyed meeting you, as well as benefiting from your expertise. Also the report is a lot more comprehensive that I thought so thank you!’ (October 2018) 


Chris Reilly

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

Healthywork Clients - Top employers

Alison provided workstation assessments and advice during our relocation. Although we are a small organisation it was important to obtain professional and expert help and I would recommend Alison to others without hesitation. (Workstation Risk Assessments and Ergonomic Assessments 2012)

Kathryn Swanston, Chief Executive, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

Sensory Dimensions

Ergonomic Assessment Functional Capacity Assessment Evaluation DSE Assessment Workstation Milton Keynes Cambridge Oxford North London - sensory

Many thanks indeed for the report.  Very thorough and a lot for us to do to help our member of staff.

I really appreciate the quick turn around.  (May 2017)

Simon Hails
Sensory Dimensions

David Higham Associates

Healthywork Clients - David Higham

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

CHP Consulting

Healthywork Clients - CHP Consulting

When standard instructions on worstation ergonomics didn’t result in any improvement in back pain, Alison provided expert professional guidance. This was constructive, practical and demonstrated the value of experience in this area.

Mr Antony Moss


An Ergonomic Assessment provided by Healthywork was well worth the money. The chair has been set up correctly, and is now more comfortable for the user and we have purchased the desktop equipment they suggested and this along with correct layout and improved positioning has really helped towards resolving the discomfort experienced.

Linda Marston Human Resource Manager OTAL Limited - HO Birmingham Innovative solutions to and from West Africa