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Keep your staff ‘Fit for Work’, CSP says

13 October 2010 - 5:55pm

Employers who fail to invest in the health of their staff could be losing millions of pounds a year through staff absences, a new report from the CSP says.

The Sickness Costs report highlights the benefits of having health and well-being services available in the workplace. It shows that services, such as physiotherapy, can reduce employee absences through conditions such as back pain, joint injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders. According to the Health and Safety Executive, MSDs affect 550,000 people across the UK. And the Work Foundation estimates absences caused by MSDs alone cost the economy £7.4 billion a year.

Occupational health

Sickness Costs, which is part of the wider Fit for Work campaign, shows that Anglian Water was able to earn back £3 for every £1 spent on work-place physiotherapy services. The survey carried out for the report found three in 10 managers believe staff with MSDs are well enough to work, but just don't want to. Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of small-to-medium businesses do not provide occupational health services. CSP chief executive, Phil Gray, said: ‘We recognise it is tempting in difficult economic times for businesses to cut back on health and well-being initiatives, such as a physiotherapy service. ‘But that is a false economy, because ignoring a recurring condition can potentially lead to lower productivity and high temporary staffing costs.’

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