Managing sickness absence caused by musculoskeletal disorder (MSD)

Everyone at work will probably need to take sick leave at some time during
their working lives and in most cases this lasts only a few days. But, if it
turns into long-term sickness absence, it can have devastating effects on the
productivity and competitiveness of your business and the health and well-being
of your employees.

Back Pain is a major cause of work related sickness absence and can affect
every type of business. But it is not the only type of musculoskeletal disorder
(MSD) that can cause employees to take time off. There are many MSDs that could
lead to long-term sickness absence and in many cases it can be difficult to
identify the link between injury and the work done.

Proper monitoring of sickness absence can help identify the causes of MSDs,
which will enable them to be tackled early on. It will also enable you to
identify individuals with MSD problems early on in their absence so they may be
approached to consider an appropriate and timely plan for their return to

It could help identify those cases where an employee is likely to take time off
and need help in getting back to work, as well as those which could resolve
themselves quickly.

The British HSE has published an information sheet containing information on

  • Recording sickness absence
  • Keeping in contact
  • Planning adjustments
  • Using professional advice/services
  • Agreeing a return to work plan
  • Coordinating the return to work process
  • Case Studies

Further Information

AplusA-online.de - Source: Health and Safety Executive