Repetitive tasks assessment for industry

Let's Talk About ART!

Posted By Kerry Budworth on 2015-10-19 21:30

The Assessment of Repetitive Tasks tool

What is the ART tool?

The ART tool is designed to help you to assess the risk associated with tasks within your workplace that require repetitive movement of the upper limbs (arms and hands). It will assist you in assessing some of the common risk factors in repetitive work that contribute to the development of Upper Limb Disorders (ULDs).

The ART tool is intended for people with responsibility for the design, assessment, management, and inspection of any type of repetitive work.Mostly repetitive tasks are typically found in assembly, production, processing, packaging, packing and sorting work, as well as work involving regular use of hand tools. Typically this type of repetitive work takes place on any type of production or assembly line environment

How will the ART tool help You

The tool will help you to identify repetitive tasks that have significant risks when it comes to ULDs. It will also help you to identify where you can focus risk reduction measures. It will help you to prioritise repetitive tasks for improvement and allow you to clearly consider possible risk reduction measures. The use of the ART tool will also help you meet legal requirements to ensure the health and safety of employees who perform repetitive work.

How it works

The ART tool uses a numerical score and a traffic light approach to indicate the level of risk for twelve factors. These factors are grouped into four individual stages which are:

  • A: Frequency and repetition of movements
  • B: Force
  • C: Awkward postures of the neck, back, arm, wrist and hand
  • D: Additional factors, including breaks and duration

The factors are presented on a flow chart, this layout leads you through individual steps to evaluate and grade the degree of risk of any particular task. The tool is supported by an assessment guide, providing instruction to help you to score the repetitive task you are observing. There is also a worksheet to record your assessment.

Preperation for using the tool

The tool is an excellent way to assess repetitive tasks, however, like all tools they are only as effective as their application. In the case of the ART it is extremely important to ensure your preperation is undertaken. Before starting the assessment, it is important to consider several things.

  • Which task should be assessed first?
  • Is the task suitable for assessment with ART?
  • Who needs to be involved in the assessment?
  • At what time should the assessment be made?
  • What equipment is needed during the assessment?

The risk factors that you are assessing

Work is repetitive when it requires the same muscle groups to be used over and over again during the working day or when it requires frequent movements to be performed for prolonged periods. So what are you assessing with the tool?

  • Frequency and repetition of movements
  • Force involved
  • Working posture (body posture)
  • Duration of exposure
  • Working environment
  • Individual factors
  • Psychosocial factors
  • Combinations of risk factors
  • Risk management (overall risk management strategy)

Breaking down the task during observation

When observing a repetitive task, it helps to break the task down into the individual task elements (i.e. the sequence of actions that are repeated over and over again). This allows you to identify the full task cycle in order that you understand where the greatest risk is and that intervention opportunities can be identified. 

The ART tool is an excellent tool when used correctly, it fits well within the wider health and safety strategy of any industry that involves repetitive tasks as part of it's processes. If you are interested in learning more, looking for health & Safety services, or you are looking for help with your health and safety strategy, call us on 01455 234 600 or contact us online now. 

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