Back Pain and Absenteeism
Early intervention is key for employers!! Arthritis, back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most commonly reported cause of absence from work in Ireland according to Arthritis Ireland. Almost one in 10 people suffer from aching back pain, something that is common across all sexes, age groups, countries, socioeconomic groups and occupations.
Many employees will need only minimal assistance from their employer or colleagues to continue working however, some employees may need to make changes to the way they do their job. Being diagnosed with an MSD does not alter the person’s knowledge or skills and so it makes perfect sense to assist them to attain their potential.
The type of support a person needs will depend on the type of work they do and how physical it is. When an employee tells you that they have a MSD, take the earliest opportunity to ask about any problems they are experiencing and consult with a doctor or occupational therapist to explore ways to assist.
Making modifications sooner rather than later avoids the problem escalating.
It is a good idea to arrange a workplace assessment to identify problems and potential solutions. When you introduce the right support and adjustments, people with MSDs can usually continue in worthwhile employment.
Source: Arthritis Ireland, Disability.ie and other