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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Thanks for the (DSE Risk Assessments) report. We’ve already acted on your recommendations, invested in a few key pieces of equipment and changed our (bad) habits. So thanks for helping us to proactively stay healthy or keep our legacy issues in check!

(January 2018)

Tracey Anderson
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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

GMG Color Ltd

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‘I contacted Alison a couple of months ago and she came up to see me and my team quite recently, Alison was very thorough with everyone, some people needed an hour with her others just 10 minutes, however everybody got something out of her visit, the visit was informative but not long winded and not rushed.

I was also very impressed with the level of information supplied for each individual after the visit, which has enabled me to order what was needed (however I could have done without the cost this involved!!).

Overall I would highly recommend Alison and Healthywork Ltd’. (June 2017)

Ian Probert
GMG Color Ltd

Basetek Ltd

The feedback from the staff is very positive and they all found it very interesting. (DSE Risk Assessments and Ergonomics Education sessions).

Françoise Ashfield BaseTek Ltd

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

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

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

David Higham Associates

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

Sensory Dimensions

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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

Qualification Curriculum Authority

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

HEFCE

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
HEFCE