Why support MSK health in your workplace?

  • Good MSK health is needed for most work tasks as it gives dexterity and mobility
  • MSK conditions are the most common and often the worst health problem in the workplace
  • Reported by roughly three out of every five employees
  • Affect all ages but more common with increasing age
  • Account for 27% of all working days lost but also cause difficulties when in work and leaving work early
  • 33% of long-term sickness absence attributed to MSK
  • Many people stay in work with MSK problems but with difficulty and reduced efficiency / productivity (presenteeism)
  • Many leave the workforce early because of MSK conditions with only 60% in employment v 80% healthy people
  • This costs – sick pay, lost productivity, retraining costs and people’s quality of life

A compelling case for addressing MSK health

The legal case

As an employer, you have a legal duty to provide safe and healthy workplaces. Know your legal responsibilities.

  • Work that is unsafe or provides inadequate training and support for staff to do their job without injury can lead to MSK problems through both acute injury or repetitive strain.
  • Work that is physically demanding and/or with high levels of stress impact on the person’s health, their ability to work at their most productive and are associated with high levels of work loss.

The moral case

The moral case is significant

Ensuring employees health, safety and wellbeing at work is the right thing to do.

Work can have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing. It helps create a sense of purpose through the contribution we make to our families, and to society.

Today, the best employers recognise the need to go beyond legislated minimum standards, and adhere to the highest standards of corporate social responsibility. 

ESG (Environmental, social and governance) criteria are of increasing interest to companies, their investors and other stakeholders. With growing concern about the ethical status of quoted companies, these standards are the central factors that measure the ethical impact and sustainability of investment in a company.  Ensuring a safe and healthy workplace is a key component.

It supports recruitment and retention of employees. It boosts productivity.

The legal case

There is a strong business case to support the workforce

MSK problems represent a substantial cost to your business through:

  • Sick pay
  • Lost productivity
  • Loss of key skills
  • Retraining costs
  • Legal costs and injury benefit

This represents a  significant opportunity  for cost reduction, since:

  • MSK problems are manageable and can be prevented
  • Litigation can be avoided as preventing MSK problems often is a health and safety requirement

Small and medium sized firms (SMEs) can be disproportionately affected through the loss of key staff for any period of time because of MSK problems.

First understand the MSK needs of your workplace, the costs to your business and the challenges for your workforce.

Then know how to support MSK health in your workplace