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New HSE guidance: Preventing musculoskeletal disorders in the early years workforce

Photo of teacher talking to primary students

Many workers in the early years sector experience non-reportable back, knee, neck and shoulder pain as a result of frequent, cumulative exposure to musculoskeletal hazards, eg repetitive lifting. The high prevalence of MSDs in the sector appears to be linked to workers having to adopt awkward postures and using furniture and equipment (eg chairs and desks) designed to meet the ergonomic needs of young children and to facilitate engagement with young children at their own level.  

In response to increasing intelligence about the high incidence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affecting workers in the early years sector, HSE initiated the formation of a working group with interested stakeholders and employee representatives to explore the evidence and provide sector guidance.

The working group has developed and published guidance, Awareness and Prevention of Back Pain and other Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Early Years Workforce, hosted on the Early Years Alliance website and available free of charge.  

It is hoped that the information from this project will be used to inform the future curriculum, support the development of suitable training for workers in the early years sector and help embed an understanding of the issues and measures that are effective in preventing injury and ill health.   


First published 28 May 2021

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NAHT Life gives you the opportunity to continue your membership of the biggest union for school leaders both in post and in retirement.


NAHT Life focuses on helping retired members receive excellent trade union services and allows you to continue to play an active volunteer role within NAHT regions and branches, if that’s what you choose to do!

Please note to qualify for the benefits of NAHT Life membership you must join NAHT life within six months of retiring. 

Please ensure NAHT has your correct post-retirement contact details.

NAHT is currently reviewing, renewing and refreshing its services to support NAHT life member.

The Life Members' Sector Council (LMSC)

Whether leaving a labour of love or embracing a life of leisure, there can be no doubt that retirement from school leadership marks a huge change in lifestyle. There will be adjustments to make, new challenges to take and a range of new opportunities. At a time like this, it is important that our experienced members do not lose all the support they received in their working life. Our life members’ committee is here to ensure members are supported in retirement.

This committee feeds its extensive wealth of experience and know-how to support the work of NAHT. It also gives our life members the chance to make important contributions to our campaigns for working members.  

The committee, which meets four times a year, is made up of one elected representative from each of our regions, with the addition of one place each for Northern Ireland and Wales. And these elected committee members, normally, serve a three-year term.

Areas of focus for the committee include the following: 

  • Current legislation issues eg pension provision
  • Action against discrimination, including age discrimination.
LMSC chair

John Killeen (National Executive member): john.killeen@nahtofficials.org.uk

LMSC vice-chair

Nigel Patton: nigel.patton@nahtofficials.org.uk

LMSC communications officer

Michael Wilson: Michael.wilson@nahtofficials.org.uk

LMSC deputy communications officer

Eugene Symonds: eugene.symonds@nahtofficials.org.uk

Committee servicing officer

Frances Geddes has the responsibility for working closely with the LMSC as servicing officer. She can be contacted via email frances.geddes@naht.org.uk.

For further details and contact information about all current LMSC members please check out ‘Who’s who’ and the ‘List of LMSC members'.

See also

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