Employer – assess and develop

Keep up to date on the work’s physical workload factors and their significance for your employees’ work ability. Set practical targets and systematically monitor their achievement. Intensify occupational health collaboration and maintain a low threshold for seeking help.

Regularly assess the level of physical workload

Set practical targets for managing the physical workload factors and systematically monitor their achievement.

In the shorter term, monitor and evaluate the following, for example:

  • coverage and impacts of orientation and training containing information on ergonomics  
  • number and impacts of measures to develop work and working conditions  
  • smooth flow and quality of work  
  • musculoskeletal (MSK) symptoms of different personnel groups in the health examination summaries  
  • impacts of early support activities 
  • medical visits with occupational health services due to MSK symptoms and disorders (especially work-related)  
  • sick leaves due to MSK symptoms and disorders 
  • impacts of work ability negotiations  
  • successful returns to work after a long sick leave.  

In the longer term, monitor and evaluate at least the following: 

  • Have work-related MSK symptoms, disorders and injuries decreased? 
  • Have the safety and healthiness of the work and the work environment improved? 
  • Have the employees’ physical work ability and functional capacity improved? 

Also monitor your employees’ experiences and opinions on the level of strain caused by the work and the impact of new work methods, tools and arrangements on the workflow, quality of the work and workload. Include questions concerning the smooth flow and structure of work, work arrangements and working conditions, supervisory work and workplace culture in personnel surveys. Draw up summaries of the topics addressed in development discussions and include physical workload as one area in the development discussions. Collect supervisors’ observations on daily management and the discussions held with employees.

The company’s Human Resources (HR) reporting on absences due to illness and your occupational health partner’s regular reporting are also useful tools for keeping track of the situation.

Read more about knowledge management

Develop occupational health collaboration

At its best, successful occupational health collaboration allows you to build a continuous dialogue to promote the musculoskeletal health of your employees. Keep your occupational health partner informed of the nature of your company’s operations, the current situation, ways of operating and the support available to employees, such as the possibility to accommodate work. You can then target the occupational health measures accurately. Together with staff and occupational health services, design policies and recommendations for managing physical workload factors in the workplace.

Make sure that the reporting of the occupational health services is clear, comprehensive, and regular. Monitor the implemented measures and update the action plans often enough together with the occupational health services. By collaborating closely with the occupational health services, you can focus your actions better and tackle as many problems as possible in a proactive way.

Also monitor the costs and the resources employed. Assess the success of the collaboration, i.e. the division of efforts and activities between the workplace and occupational health services.