Occupational health services should be a statutory duty upon employers, in part to encourage them to do more to prevent and reduce repetitive strain injury (RSI) among workers, physiotherapists have said.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has also called on the government to do more to promote the business and social case for providing OH services, with a particular emphasis on the effectiveness of early intervention.
And it has added its weight to calls from employers and health providers that incentives, such as tax breaks, should be offered to employers that invest in OH services.
CSP spokesperson Pauline Cole said that, while the government’s welfare reform proposals focused on getting people back to work after health problems, more could be done to prevent RSI occurring in the first place.
An analysis of Health and Safety Executive statistics for the society has found that process, plant and machine operators are most likely to develop work-related musculoskeletal and upper limb or neck conditions, including RSI. Skilled construction and building trades workers come next, followed by health and social welfare professionals.
The CSP has also published a free factsheet for employers and staff on how to avoid RSI.