Job modification helps staff with MSDs back to work after absence

Musculoskeletal disorders

Modified work is often part of a return-to-work plan for employees with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), but there are no validated scales to measure what level of modification might be effective. This study tests a new 21-item self-report measure, the Job Accommodation Scale, assessing supervisors’ views of its applicability, internal consistency and relation to physical job demands. Avoiding awkward postures was the most feasible accommodation, according to supervisors; moving the employee to a different site or location was the least feasible. Job accommodations generally were viewed as less feasible for more physical jobs and for those working in heavier industries.

Shaw WS et al (2014). “The Job Accommodation Scale (JAS): psychometric evaluation of a new measure of employer support for temporary job modifications”. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, first published online March 2014.

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