Focus & Aims

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Fit for Work is a unique initiative that aims to better align the work and health agendas in Ireland, bringing together for the first time key stakeholders from both the work and health arenas to drive important policy changes, armed with a solid evidence base

We believe that governments, business, the healthcare community and patients need to collaborate to deliver policies that enable those living with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) to maintain active healthy lives and participate in the workforce, which also serves to maintain the economy’s productivity and competitiveness.

The Fit for Work project has a particular focus on the impact of MSDs and work participation and absenteeism. We examined the impact of MSDs on an individual’s ability to work and the adequacy of treatment and how this impacts on Ireland’s economy and society as a whole. We are now working to ensure that these findings and recommendations are used to inform both policy and practice by government, healthcare professionals and employers in Ireland.

The Fit for Work project has looked in some detail at the impact that MSDs have on the working lives of thousands of Irish workers, the adequacy of the treatment and support they receive, their experiences at work, the effect of their condition on their family and colleagues, and the human and financial costs involved.

More specifically, this project has sought to address each of the following questions:

  1. What is the impact of MSDs on employment and economic performance in Ireland?
  2. How is this likely to change in the context of future demographic, workforce and lifestyle changes?
  3. What is the relationship between work and MSDs?
  4. What impact do biological, psychological and social factors, including workplace factors have on MSDs?
  5. How well do employers, governmental bodies, GPs and occupational health professionals understand and deal with MSDs as they relate to the workplace?
  6. How well equipped is the health sector to provide early intervention, rehabilitation and other support for people with these conditions?
  7. What early interventions can policy-makers and employers deliver to ensure that those with MSDs retain their jobs, maximise their quality of working life and their contribution to society and maintain access to employment? 

NEXT: Fit for Work Coalition

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