Occupational Health Assessment for Back Pain
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s) are costing UK businesses £7.4 billion a year through absenteeism. Also an estimated £15 billion a year in presenteeism – people at work, but working less productively due to a MSD. It affects all ages, but we also now have an ageing workforce and higher retirement age.
More than ever it is necessary to consider an Ergonomic Assessment of the tasks for prevention and reduction of risks. Then a review of the physical capabilities of the worker and the need for Reasonable Adjustments (Equality Act 2010) to help!
Individuals require an in depth personalised Occupational Health Assessment to review their medical situation, what symptoms they experience, what activities and postures they can and cannot do. The assessor should have a good understanding of what the job role involves, from the employer and the individual themselves. How many minutes per day the individual has to be in different postures and perform specific tasks. Such as standing and walking 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.
For sedentary workers, an Ergonomic Workstation Assessment is required, to ensure their seating and posture is suitable for their health needs.
In 2017 Business In the Community launched a Musculoskeletal Health Toolkit for Employers which is a useful resource.
There is a business case and a moral case when considering supporting individuals’ wellbeing. Employers have a Duty of Care to their employees. The business benefits from reduction in sickness absence costs and recruitment costs (including interview and training of new employees). It also can reduce strain on the rest of the team.
Open conversations with individuals and flexibility in the working pattern to allow them to attend appointments, will all help. If they are better supported in their health & 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!
Also, management require training and support so they feel confident in supporting the health needs of their team.
Here at Healthywork, Alison Biggs, registered Occupational Therapist, offers a range of Occupational Health Assessments.
Contact Us to find out more about these and other services on offer.
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