All companies have a corporate responsibility
to look after their staff
and prevent them from getting injured at work.
If companies provided medical insurance for their employees,
it would solve so many problems:
- At a personal level
- At a company level
- And at a National Level
The Size of the Problem
To quote the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy from their report ‘How Healthy is the UK Workforce? Sickness Costs’:
‘In Great Britain, musculoskeletal disorders account for nearly a third of the total time taken off sick from work1, at an estimated cost of around £7.4 billion a year2. In addition, companies lose as much as £15 billion a year through ‘presenteeism’ when staff are at work but are not performing to their full potential because they are unwell.3
Nowadays, employers can get very good cost-effective health cover for as little as £1.00 a week per employee. This gives employees assurance that they can have access to treatment immediately should they start with a pain, so stopping it from becoming chronic and more difficult to treat. But also, it means that their suffering is reduced – and that can’t be a bad thing for a company.
So, why don’t all companies provide this benefit?
If a member of staff asked for £5.00 extra a month would you deny them this tiny sum? Would you deny them this small extra amount if it meant that they felt that their employer cared about them?
Would you deny them this small amount if it meant…
• They said good things about you as an employer?
• It improved your staff retention?
• It increased your bottom line?
• It improved productivity?
• It created a happier working environment?
I know I’m biased, but even with such a simple health cover as £1 per week per employee, you can make a great deal of difference to people who need physiotherapy treatment.
Of course, the NHS is a wonderful mattress to fall back on if things go terribly wrong and I would be the first to go there. But this organisation is overworked, and employers, I think, should play their part helping take some of the pressure off by getting a professional local physiotherapist to come to them.
After all, many injuries and pains start at work, so where better place for this issue to be addressed by professionals?
All you need to do is get a physiotherapist to visit the place of work on a weekly or monthly basis and people can book themselves in for treatment. There would be no travel-time issues, and the benefits to the patient would be considerable.
If people are getting pain when just at work, which is what usually happens, then we can visit their workstation and find out what the root of the problem is. All physiotherapists are trained to do this. We understand ergonomics as part of our training. But, even more importantly, we understand how to advise the patient to treat and self-manage the injury.
Where to find Your Physiotherapist
At Positive Posture, we help employers by giving employees the relevant information and good practice advice so that they can prevent computer-related pain whilst at work. We do that either one-to-one or through inhouse workshops at your company – whatever works best.
I’m based in Hale Barns, so if your business is in the Manchester area, call me on 0161 980 5462.
Alternatively, just go to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s website and with their PHYSIO2U you’ll find a chartered physiotherapist near you.
In the end, the whole country will benefit from employers bringing physiotherapists into the workplace. By treating niggling pains as soon as they crop up, we take pressure off the NHS, making more space for when you really need their vast expertise to deal with more serious problems.
So come on companies, do your bit. Get on board with health and wellbeing cover – and organise a physiotherapist to come to your company where your employees can book themselves in, onsite, and receive treatment under health care cover. Simple!
So who’s up for this? Want some more advice? Just give me a ring: 0161 980 5462
1 HSE 2008/09 www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/muscloskeletal/index.htm
2 Work Foundation www.workfoundation.co.uk/research/publications/fitforwork2007
3 Sainsbury’s Centre for Mental Health (2007) Mental health at work: developing the business case