This position sets out our expectations of how persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) should manage musculoskeletal health and work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs).

WorkSafe position on our approach to musculoskeletal health (PDF 331 KB)

You should read this position alongside our: 

Musculoskeletal health is important

Approximately 30% of all work-related harm can be attributed to musculoskeletal injuries. Our goal is to reduce the level of harm, particularly for Māori and Pacific workers, who are disproportionately represented in the injury statistics.

Defining work-related musculoskeletal disorders

Our Work-related musculoskeletal disorders and risk factors quick guide defines and explains WRMSDs, WRMSD risk factors, and more.

What the law requires

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) requires PCBUs to keep workers and others healthy and safe. This means that PCBUs must eliminate musculoskeletal risks from work, so far as is reasonably practicable. If risks can’t be eliminated, they must be minimised.

Our expectations

We expect PCBUs to:

  • implement good work design principles and practices in the work environment, which eliminate musculoskeletal risks or minimise them, so far as is reasonably practicable
  • engage with workers when identifying musculoskeletal risks and their controls, including when changing work processes
  • monitor the health of workers and the conditions at work to prevent WRMSDs developing or being exacerbated.

Our role

As the primary regulator for work health and safety we’ll support workers and PCBUs by:

  • publishing guidance
  • developing systems to monitor the impacts of WRMSDs
  • engaging with PCBUs to educate them about musculoskeletal health risks and how to manage them, and
  • intervening in line with our operational policies.