Men more likely to suffer musculoskeletal disorders

Male
workers are more likely to fall prey to musculoskeletal disorders than women,
and both sexes are just as susceptible to stress, anxiety or depression,
according to a study by the Health and Safety Executive.

Findings
from the report Self-reported Work-related Illness in 2001/02 – Results of a
Household Survey were published last December and the HSE’s full results
include:


Men (who have worked) carry a higher prevalence rate of musculoskeletal
disorders (3 per cent) than women (2.2 per cent). Rates of stress, depression
or anxiety are the same for both sexes.


Prevalence rates for stress, anxiety and depression are higher among workers
than among the self-employed (1.4 per cent of employees and 0.8 per cent of the
self-employed). But the opposite is true of musculoskeletal disorders.
Full-time workers are more prevalent than part-timers to work-related
musculoskeletal disorders, stress, depression and anxiety.

The
study of 5,015 people finds:


Occupations with above average work-related illness rates include the
protective services (such as the police, fire service, prison service and armed
forces), with an estimated rate of about 8.6 per cent. Health & social
welfare professionals, skilled construction and building trades and teaching
and research professionals rate about 7 per cent.


Health & social welfare, and teaching and research also carried
above-average rates, and protective service occupations and health & social
welfare professionals had above average annual days lost per worker.


Industries carrying the highest average days lost per worker were extractive
and utility supply industries, public administration and defence and health
& social work.


Industries carrying the high prevalence rates of musculoskeletal disorders were
agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing, with a rate of about 3.8 per cent,
construction (3.6 per cent), health & social work (2.8 per cent) and
manufacturing (2.3 per cent).


Teaching and research carried the highest prevalence rates of stress,
depression or anxiety as a whole, at around 3.7 per cent, closely followed by
protective service occupations with a rate between 2.1 and 4.9 per cent.

Along
with health & social welfare professionals (2 per cent) and business and public
service professionals (1.7 per cent), these groups accounted for around half
the prevalent cases of self-reported work-related stress, depression or
anxiety.

The
original headline statistics indicated an estimated prevalence of
self-reported, work-related illness in 2001-2002 was 2.3 million – 5.3 per cent
of the population who have ever been employed.

The
estimated number of working days lost because of work-related illness during
the 12 months was 33 million, with each person taking an estimated average of
23 days off work.

www.hse.gov.uk

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