Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) in Great Britain
Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) can affect muscles, joints and tendons in all parts of the body. Most work-related MSDs develop over time and can also result from fractures sustained in an accident.
The latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) show:
- The total number of MSD cases in 2013/14 was 526 000 out of a total 1 241 000 for all work-related illnesses.
- The number of new cases of MSDs in 2013/14 was 184 000, up from 141 000 in 2011/12.
- There has generally been a downward trend in the rate of total cases and new cases of work-related MSDs since 2001/02, although the latest year has a higher rate than in 2011/12.
- The total number of working days lost due to MSDs in 2013/14 was 8.3 million, an average of 15.9 days per case of MSDs. There has generally been a downward trend in the average days lost per worker due to MSDs since 2001/02.
- Activities in specialised construction, agriculture, postal and courier and health care had higher rates of total cases of MSDs compared to the average across industries.
- Building trades, nurses, personal care and skilled agriculture trades had higher rates of total cases of MSDs compared to the average across all occupations.
The THOR-GP reporting network did not suggest any significant changes in the reported incidence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the most recent three years (2011-2013) where a consistent method for reporting has been used.
General practitioners in the THOR-GP reporting scheme identify heavy lifting, keyboard work and manipulating materials as the main tasks associated with the development of work-related musculoskeletal disorders seen in their clinics.
Estimated rates for total cases and new cases of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in Great Britain, for people working in the last 12 months
Source: Labour Force Survey (LFS)
Note: No ill health data collected in 2002/03 and 2012/13