Employer Solutions: Preventable Absences

Jai Hooker@Work


Fit for Duty: Training Can Help Employers Stay Ahead of Preventable Absences

By Mark Williams, DC, MBA, Medical Director, The Hartford

Being proactive with your employees’ health and safety is essential to keep your workforce productive. Once there’s a disability or workers’ compensation claim, it’s too late for prevention.

Employers are realizing that the true cost of employee absence due to a preventable injury — whether it occurs at or outside of work — is about $575 billion each year, a burden mostly borne by employers.1

A recent study of short-term disability and workers’ compensation claims data identified the 10 most preventable absences:2

  1. Meniscal (knee) tear
  2. Joint pain
  3. Low back pain
  4. Rotator cuff (shoulder) syndrome
  5. Radiculopathy (nerve pain)
  6. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  7. Hernia
  8. Lumbar sprain
  9. Shoulder sprain
  10. Generalized anxiety disorder

Conditioning programs, ergonomics training, lessons in lifting, physical ability tests, and employee assistance programs (EAPs) can be effective prevention strategies to consider.

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