Orthopaedics and trauma of the limbs

Anne Marie O’Donnell and Chris Little

in Fitness for Work

Fifth edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199643240
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191755668 | DOI:

Series: Landmark Papers

Orthopaedics and trauma of the limbs

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  • Occupational Medicine
  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Occupational Therapy


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Musculoskeletal disease (MSD) remains one of the biggest causes of disability and sickness absence in the working population. As the working population ages, this is likely to continue. The occupational practitioner’s role is to reduce the impact of these problems for both employee and employer. This requires not only knowledge of the conditions, but also an understanding of the psychosocial factors underlying sickness absence and an evidence-based approach to rehabilitation. Patients generally do not have to be completely fit to commence, remain in, or return to work, and resuming work may be part of the rehabilitation process (see Chapter 4). Reasonable accommodations under the Equality Act 2010 may help overcome barriers to work to the benefit of workers and their employers (see Chapter 2). Flexible working and well-designed work environments may help retention and facilitate useful and safe work. In this context, fitness for work is a relative concept, dependent on suitable adjustments to the work environment.

Chapter.  14176 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Occupational Medicine ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Occupational Therapy

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