Musculoskeletal disorders negatively impact competiveness

A recent Aon survey on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace reveals that over 40 per cent of organizations have senior management teams involved in the prevention of accidents and occupational diseases related to MSDs. Of these, 81 per cent identified repetitive motions as the main risk factor.

Aon conducted the Rapid Ready survey in mid-May where 163 Canadian corporate clients participated.

Musculoskeletal disorders include physical ailments such as lower back pain, joint-related injuries and various forms of repetitive strain injury. MSD-related injuries originating from work-related activities or conditions and not addressed or mitigated properly may easily spell significant cost and productivity issues to employers.

59 per cent of participants believed the risk factors associated with MSDs were addressed at their organization. While 50 per cent of respondents confirm that senior management was not equipped with means to monitor or assess the progress of the prevention of accidents and occupational ailments involving MSDs.

Where plans did exist to proactively address and mitigate MSDs, more than 40 per cent of respondents confirm dealing with identified risk factors and training all current and new employees.

"MSDs represent a major challenge for most companies," says Gilles Normandeau, senior consultant at the firm's Montreal office," Prolonged MSD-related absences have negative impacts on costs and affect a company's ability to deliver competitive business results. Companies should not have to wait for governments to tell them how to act through laws, regulations or guidelines."

Aon Consulting is one of Canada's leading integrated human capital consulting and outsourcing firms. For more information, visit