The 2008/9 Labour Force Survey, reported that the average time that each worker spent off sick, due to a work-related problem, during that year was 15.9 days.
Results from the same survey indicate that of the 1.2 million workers who reported illness whilst at work, the majority reported musculoskeletal disorders to be the main cause of their problem.
The HSE estimate that the cost to employers in the North West UK alone due to ill health, illness and injury at work is £360-810 million per annum (http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/costs.pdf).
Delivery and management of service
Q:How do we provide quality and expertise to your organisation?
A:We provide expert examination, diagnosis and treatment of your staff. We include return to work plans and rehabilitation of the individual and liaise with that individuals’ managers in order to optimise their safe return to their job role.
A: ‘Focus’ can provide regular statistics giving a breakdown of body parts affected and potential ‘hotspots’ where injuries occur, allowing a focused approach to problem solving.
A: ‘Focus’ can provide Ergonomic assessments to advise upon appropriate measures to improve working practices, in order to reduce the likelihood of injury occurring.
A: Liaison – regular communication with the multi-disciplinary team involved in managing staff sickness-absence is key to managing staff returning to work in a timely fashion.
Costs and benefit analysis
How much can this service save your organisation?
Data from 2004 of an on-site Physiotherapy service at a large North-West based manufacturing company:
The estimated cost saving from reducing travel time alone to and from hospital/GP for treatment - 1 hour, cost saved £25,714 per annum. Potential time lost in production and treatment time should also be added to this amount.
Norwich Union researched sickness-absence to industry in the U.K. in 2001 (HSE 2004)(http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2002/c02014.htm). It estimated that the cost to industry is £1600 per person in an organisation. Reducing sickness-absence in 20 staff could save your organisation £32000 per annum.
Data from our on-site Physiotherapy service example above showed that 115 individuals were estimated to have been assisted in staying in productive roles, with intervention of an on-site Physiotherapist. A simple calculation, using the Norwich Union data (115*1600 = £184000), shows that this service paid for itself and saved the organisation money as well.
How does the service save your organisation money?
- By treating the problem early and returning or keeping staff in work.
- Treating the problem rapidly - evidence shows that prolonging the time before treatment can lead to prolonged return to work time. It may lead to recurrent problems with time off in future.
- Reducing staff time away from work whilst receiving treatment.
- Reducing the need to employ temporary staff to cover sickness-absence.
- Ability to alter work practice to reduce risks.
- Arrange timely,safe return to work for staff.
- The service is seen as a perk, by staff - difficult to quantify the cost-benefit, however research, does point to happier staff being more productive.