Employers should remind workers of safe manual handling techniques to help prevent musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, says Mark Fletcher.

With figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealing that more than 28 million working days were lost to musculoskeletal conditions in the UK in 2018, protecting the physical wellbeing of employees has never been more important. The manufacturing industry is one of the UK’s largest employers, so ensuring musculoskeletal disorders are kept to a minimum in this sector is particularly important.

The cost of employees taking time off due to musculoskeletal and mental health conditions could reach £3.8 billion in the next five years, while the cost of reduced productivity – also known as presenteeism – is forecast to reach £84 billion, according to data from the ONS and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).


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