Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), the term used to describe a variety of conditions including back pain, upper limb disorders (including RSI), neck pain, etc. are a significant problem for employers and employees alike in both industrial and office workplaces.
- lose staff who can no longer carry out their jobs;
- find productivity is reduced because staff can’t work at the expected rate without injury;
- face the expensive prospect of litigation.
- lose their jobs;
- have to live with pain and disability.
Not all MSDs are caused by work. Some arise as a result of injuries outside the workplace, and some are the almost inevitable consequence of age-related degeneration. However, if a condition stops an individual from working it is important to try and do something about it so that the employer retains valued, experienced, workers – and employees keep their jobs. An example of applied research in this area can be viewed at HSE and the Better Screen Data Report
Health and safety legislation imposes duties on employers, reflecting the important cost of these problems to the community and the need to try and reduce the problems at the workplace, rather than waiting for injuries to happen.
- Work with employers to meet their statutory duties (such as manual handling and DSE assessments);
- Help to identify and reduce risks;
- Assist in the rehabilitation of employees;
- Work with employers to help them retain older workers.