Musculoskeletal Disorder in the Workplace
Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSDs) can affect muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and the blood system. This can lead to pain and tension in the back and neck which in the work place can lead to a loss of productivity and an increase in absenteeism. http://ergo-plus.com/musculoskeletal-disorders-msd/
Depending on that industry of your businesses can factor in the risk involved with MSDs. Industries where workers are expected to be lifting heavy items or bending and reaching up high can cause strain on the body. Office workers can also suffer from MSDs due to performing repetitive tasks and remaining for a long period of time sitting in an awkward body position. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/97-141/pdfs/97-141.pdf
Within the UK over 10 million people are over the age of 65 years old. In 2008, the work population was recorded that every 3.2 people was force over the age of 65 years old. It is predicted that this number is to increase and that the ageing working is going to get larger. http://fitforwork.org/blog/the-ageing-workforce-and-musculoskeletal-disorders-msds/?utm_source=website&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=topblogjune
An aging workforce can be a great benefit to companies in terms of invaluable experience and knowledge to a role. An older working can also give the opportunity for the younger generation to work with and obtain training from the more practised workers.
Symptoms of musculoskeletal disorder include a level of pain. This could be an ache, followed by stiffness and tightness in the muscles as well as a ‘pins and needles’ type sensation or changing in skin colour and a swelling of the damaged area.
Early signs of MSDs include aching and tiredness during the working hours but which then stop whilst resting. Progressing issues include persistence aching even when not working and if the condition advances then the person might feel aching, fatigue, weak and could struggle to sleep and perform levels of work. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ergonomics/
Employers and mangers need to be aware of an ageing workforce as well as having in place health and safety advice for all employees regarding the potential increase of MSDs. Employers need to have in place a risk assessment for their workplace to identify any potential risks to their workforce. http://www.who.int/occupational_health/publications/en/oehmsd3.pdf
It is also important that businesses comply with existing legislation and good practice guidance for example guidelines on lifting and carrying heavy objects or maintain good posture when sitting and working at a computer desk.
- Manual Handling at work guidelines can be obtained by the following link http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg143.pdf
- Seating and posture at work guidelines can be obtained by the following link http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/hsg57.pdf
Employees that are in pain and feel that they could be suffering from an musculoskeletal disorder should report their condition to a manager. If the company offers their employees a group medical insurance policy then often physio or acupuncture treatments are covered up to a maximum of 10 sessions. Further to this if a company offered a cash plan then the employee can receive money back for going to therapy sessions. This usually means that they employee is seen by the specialist quickly and therefore can return to work full fit sooner.
If you have a business and are interested in taking out a group medical insurance policy to cover your employees during unavoidable sickness then speak to a member to the team here a BDHL.
As a specialised independent insurance broker, BDHL provides an impartial, bespoke, friendly and knowledgeable service. As a broker we actively monitor the healthcare market place to ensure that we offer our clients the best advice on the many choices of products and policies that are available.