OH departments need encourage employers to carry out much wider health ‘MOTs’ on workers if they are serious about addressing musculoskeletal injuries, a leading academic has suggested.
Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University Management School, has called on employers to extend the regular health checks often offered as a perk to top management to the rest of their workforce.
Cooper told Occupational Health that workers lower down the career scale often needed such checks more than senior managers, and such a proactive approach could help dramatically reduce the sickness bill from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
“We need to ensure that people who are vulnerable to these types of disorders should be assessed perhaps once a year,” he said. “We do it for managers, why don’t we do it for employees too?”
The practicalities of how employers put this into practice, and who did the actual checks, would be a key issue for OH practitioners.
The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development has warned there is often a credibility gap, with organisations knowing what they should be doing, and what works to reduce MSDs, but still failing to act.