Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s) are costing UK businesses £7.4 billion a year through absenteeism and an estimated £15 billion a year in presenteeism – people at work, but working less productively due to a MSD (there but not fully there) is an issue. It affects all ages, but we also now have an ageing workforce and higher retirement age.

More than ever it is necessary to consider the Ergonomics of the tasks for prevention and reduction of risks, but also to review the physical capabilities of the worker and the need for reasonable adjustments to help!

Individuals require an in depth personalised assessment to review their medical situation, what symptoms they experience, what activities they can do and what activities and postures are difficult. The assessor also needs to have a good understanding of what the job role involves, from the employer and the individual themselves, such as how many minutes per day the individual has to be in different postures, perform specific tasks, such as standing and walking, manual handling and what weights they have to handle from different heights and locations.

A Functional Capacity Evaluation can help to achieve this, for physically active work roles, including where manual handling may be one of the tasks performed. See: https://healthywork.org.uk/occupational-health-services/functional-capacity-assessment/

For sedentary workers, an Ergonomic Workstation Assessment is required, to ensure their seating and posture is suitable for their health needs. See: https://healthywork.org.uk/occupational-health-services/ergonomic-assessment/

In 2017 Business In the Community launched a Musculoskeletal Health Toolkit, for employers at the event. See: http://wellbeing.bitc.org.uk/all-resources/toolkits/musculoskeletal-health-toolkit-employers

One point to remember is that there needs to be both a business case and a moral case, when considering supporting individuals’ wellbeing. You cannot just consider the business case! Employers have a Duty of Care to their employees. Also the business case is there to look after the individual workers too, as this can reduce sickness absence costs, reduce recruitment costs and interview time and thus less training of new employee costs. It also can reduce strain on the rest of the team.

So remember to have open conversations with individuals, and flexibility in the working pattern to allow them to attend appointments, as this will all help with the business case in the end. If they are better supported in their health and wellbeing needs, they will be happier and perform better!

Remember: A physical health issue, can also have a mental health impact and the other way around!

The buzzwords at the conference were TRAINING & SUPPORT, especially management training so they feel confident in supporting the health needs of their team.

Here at Healthywork, Alison Biggs, registered Occupational Therapist, offers Occupational Health Assessments, including Ergonomic Assessment, and a Functional Capacity Evaluation in order to assess the employee’s ability to perform their work role and suggest reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 which can help. Find out more about these and other services on offer at: https://healthywork.org.uk/occupational-health-services/

Alison Biggs

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regime, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Healthywork Ltd does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.

Musculoskeletal Conditions, or in other words – Back pain!

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Testimonials

HEFCE

We all enjoyed our recent training update, it was really useful and informative. I have completed 2 ergonomic assessments since the training and I found it really helped.

(Ergonomic Training delivered, 2012)

Judith Fowler, Assistant Facilities Manager, HEFCE

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

KMG Health Partners Ltd

Alison Biggs has been a Specialised Assessor on KMG Health Partners roster since its UK inception in 2004. We highly recommend her based on her knowledge, skills, diversity, quality and client / customer care. She has also been extremely flexible with scheduling and geographic locations. You can expect positive outcomes from accessing her service.

Ergonomic Assessments, Functional Capacity Evaluations and Job Demands Analysis for clients over the UK: including, Devon, Bristol, Kent, London, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Bedfordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland.

Gail Kovacs

Capital International

Healthywork were very efficient and able to help us with several situations. If you need a fresh pair of eyes with a medical focus to look at an employee health issue, I would recommend them.

Jo Byrne, Central London

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

Somek and Associates

I have known and worked with Alison Biggs of Healthywork since 2003. I have always found her to be extremely professional and committed any work project, and very knowledgeable about her specialist field.

Ergonomic Assessments and Functional Capacity Assessments for Medico-legal cases provided in Essex, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and London.

Alison Somek

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

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

Viridor Ltd

I found today’s assessment very helpful indeed, and am trying my best to keep my keyboard as close to me as possible – makes a big difference when I do, it’s even increased my speed and accuracy, lol.

Also, and more to the point, the pain in my back hasn’t got any worse today, and I haven’t used the wrist support, so having my arms supported (on arm rests) is clearly doing something for them already.

V. Jones Viridor Ltd

Axminster Carpets

Our HR advisor has read your report and said it was the best she has read in 35 years!

Worksite Assessment performed in Axminster, Devon.

Adam Clark