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

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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

Enable Therapy Services Ltd

Enable Therapy Services Ltd has used the services of Healthywork Ltd on many occasions over the last 18 months.

We have found their services efficient and their reports excellent.

They continue to be our first choice when requiring vocational related assessments/reports.

Ergonomic Assessments, Functional Capacity Assessments and Vocational Assessments provided in Glocester, Kent, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Hampshire, West Sussex, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Shropshire and Avon.

Julie Kendall, Wetherby

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

Fegans

Ergonomic Assessment Functional Capacity Assessment Evaluation DSE Assessment Workstation Milton Keynes Cambridge Oxford North London - fegans

Thank you once again for the excellent service you have provided.  Jane was very satisfied with the assessment and I would be happy to recommend you to others needing workstation or other work-place assessments.

(December 2017)

Linden Sanders, Operations Director
Fegans

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

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

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

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

Watford Borough Council

Thanks very much for the (Functional Capacity) report which we have found extremely useful

Nicola Sharp

UNUM

Alison is professional at all times, she is easy to work with, adaptable and open to discussing how, through the reports she produces she can meet the changing needs of her clients.

Elaine Cook

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