Keep on moving tackling musculoskeletal disorders

10th September 2012

The latest workplace absence figures published earlier this year revealed that, for employers and employees alike, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are still proving to be a pain in the neck.

For while the data from the Office for National Statistics found sickness absence had fallen by four per cent in the UK, the greatest number of working days lost to ill health were due to MSDs. Conditions including back pain, neck and upper limb problems accounted for more than a quarter of all work days lost the equivalent of 35 million days. But how can businesses tackle this common cause of absence? The Health and Safety Executive advises employers that some musculoskeletal disorders may need medical treatment of one type or another, explaining: "This may involve physiotherapy; either through the NHS or by an arrangement with a local private service that can often provide treatments almost immediately. "Many organisations have found this cost effective as the cost of the healthcare is offset by the speedy return of the employee to work, resulting in significant savings made on sick pay, re-training, employing a replacement and the other costs of sickness absence. Westfield Health's Chamber Primary Health Plan, which is available to all members of SheffieldChamber of Commerce, includes a therapies benefit, which enables employees to claim back the cost of physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic treatment, as well as acupuncture and homeopathy, up to set limits. Quick access to treatment can help speed up recovery time and prevent injuries worsening or conditions from becoming chronic. For more information about the Chamber Plan, visit or call 0845 602 1629, available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

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