Employee absenteeism is estimated to cost UK businesses over £1,300 per employee per year or £11 billion to industry as a whole (CBI, 1998). This amounts to 197 million days lost to the economy. The costs to companies is huge, made up of loss of output and perhaps penalties from missing deadlines, compensation, legal fees and higher insurance premiums, medical costs, sickness benefits, fines and loss of goodwill.
Musculoskeletal disorders, according to the Health & Safety Executive, form the largest group of work-related illnesses, accounting for 1.2 million of an estimated 2 million cases of occupational ill-health in Britain. 60% of all work-related illnesses are the result of back, neck or limb problems. Back pain is by far the most common and accounts for 119 million lost days at work. 7.8 million people live with chronic pain. 49% of those diagnosed with chronic pain have been forced to take time off from work. In 1998, back pain alone cost the economy an estimated £12 billion. (Source: British Pain Society pain Survey 2005 & Pain 2000). The aim of working with industry is to be able to bring about a reduction in absenteeism figures due to musculoskeletal related injuries by promoting the benefits of early intervention. Benefits of early intervention are not only cost effective but also cost saving.