Back pain is an occupational health worryA board member of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has noted that back pain is one of the most common forms of occupational health, but that returning to work could be a useful part of the recovery process.

Professor Sayeed Khan recently spoke at the National Back Exchange Conference in Leicester and said that working and staying active could reduce the risk of long-term incapacity – which may also see HR departments being better able to cope with absence management.

However, he added that it was the role of senior management to commit to helping afflicted employees to change their working conditions.

“Ergonomic solutions to workplace design can help prevent back injuries, stop existing conditions being exacerbated and help sufferers feel more comfortable,” Professor Khan stated.

A recent study by The Work Foundation noted that chronic musculoskeletal pain affects 100 million people on the continent, which could be having negative consequences for absence management.