Musculoskeletal Disorders Costing UK Business £154M a Year

UK business is losing £154 million a year due to staff suffering from musculoskeletal disorders. This is according to latest research carried out carried out by Parrs on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Musculoskeletal disorders are responsible for the loss of 8.8 million working days between 2015 and 2016. They are the most common type of work-related illnesses, 41% in total.

Staff suffering from these injuries and disorders take on average 16 days off sick annually. Since Statutory Sick Pay costs £17.69 a day this adds up to a staggering £154 million per year.

The most common musculoskeletal disorders are:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Tendinitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Repetitive Strain Injury

Occupations at Risk of Musculoskeletal Disorders

Workers whose jobs involve manual labour are the most likely to suffer from these disorders. Occupations with the highest rate of musculoskeletal disorders according to the report were:

  • Agriculture
  • Forestry and Fishing
  • Construction
  • Transportation and Storage
  • Human Health and Social Work

Manual handling, lifting and carrying is the most common cause of injury. In addition, repetitive movement including keyword work, repetitive tasks or, being in an “awkward or tiring position” whilst carrying out a task are also important factors which can lead to injury.

You can read the full HSE analysis on musculoskeletal disorders here.

Best Ergonomic Practice for Office Workers

In order to prevent injury, employers need to ensure staff are provided with the correct ergonomic equipment for their health and comfort. Therefore, clear reporting systems, risk assessments and monitoring need to be in place.

The Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh has recently highlighted risks facing office workers. In a study undertaken for the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work it identifies four areas of concern. Postural problems, psychosocial factors, environmental and office design.

It gives this advice:

  • Change your working posture frequently by making small adjustments to your chair or backrest.
  • Stretch your fingers, hands, arms, and torso frequently.
  • Perform different tasks, like filing.
  • Stand up and walk around.
  • Blink and focus your eyes on objects away from the screen.
  • Take regular breaks away from your computer to relax your muscles.

Read the full article here.

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Sam Rose