Summary The studies to which this paper has referred have postulated several key points, namely:
1. Musculo skeletal injuries do not often lead to criminal prosecutions. In fact there have been none in the UK for work on display screen equipment and in the few which have gone to court for breaches of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations, the fi nes have been relatively low.
In the case of civil actions for compensation, the scale of the awards has been considerably greater with some approaching the £100,000 mark.
3. When societal costs are taken into account as in the study by The Work Foundation discussed above, the scale of the problem is put into a truer perspective and we can see that in terms of lost workdays it is one of the major problems facing business. The fi nancial impact of sickness absence can cause a major impact on a business’ fi nancial performance.
4. Taking into account the true cost of a MSD problem it has been demonstrated that a “best practice” intervention process can be self- funding.
5. Such a programme should include a robust risk assessment process supported by validated training of individuals and a managed return to work programme to contain the losses to the business and society.
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