485 The trends and determinants of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (msd) in ireland between 2002 and 2013

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IntroductionIn Ireland between 2002–2013, Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) accounted for 50% of self-reported work-related illnesses. Moreover the average number of days absent (15.9 days) was higher than the average of 12.8 days for all other illnesses (except stress, anxiety and depression).MethodsThis paper examines trends and determinants for work-related MSD between 2002 and 2013, using annual cross-sectional data from the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS).ResultsRates of MSD were strongly linked to the economic cycle. Rates per 1000 workers ranged from 11 in 2002 to 19 during the economic boom before falling to 7 during the recession (2009). The 2013 rate in a recovering economy was 14 per 1000 workers.This pro-cyclical pattern remained when characteristics of workers and their workplace were held constant using logistic regression. Furthermore, within sectors, rates were higher when the annual percentage change in employment was positive.We also found that certain worker and workplace factors influenced the risk of MSD independently. Workers aged 35–64 had the highest risk of MSD (2.5 times more than workers <25 years). Construction sector workers, followed by those working in agriculture and health, had the greatest risk of MSD. Rates in education and all other services sectors were much lower. The self-employed, those working 40 to 49 hours per week (compared to <30 hours), shift workers, and new recruits (with <6 months job experience) also had a higher risk of MSD.DiscussionThese findings show that some groups of workers face a higher risk of work-related MSD and that further monitoring and targeted measures are needed to support employers and employees especially at a time of economic recovery.Full results and description of the methodology can be found at http://www.esri.ie/publications/work-related-illness/

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