Presentation M P36

M P36 (Poster Presentation):
Technical support of return to work in Finnish construction workers

Presented by: Juha Liira


Liira J1,2, Laukkanen O2, Vettenranta H2, Sopenlehto T2

  1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
  2. Mehiläinen Work Life Services, Helsinki, Finland



Mehiläinen Work Life Services introduced a technical support program ‘Return to Work Compass’ in Finland in 2013. This cooperation program was first launched in a large construction company with 3 500 employess to enhance return to work (RTW) process. Occupational health service (OHS) nurses and physicians and human resource (HR) department RTW coordinators use the program to plan RTW. After 30 days of sick leave OHS reports an RTW plan to HR coordinator. During the first 60 days of sick leave the employee, employer and OHS gather in a tri-partite meeting to plan RTW options and report the plan to the HR coordinator. In 90 days OHS makes a statement to Social Insurance Institution on the functional capacity of the employee, the potential for temporary work arrangement in the workplace and the RTW plan suggested by OHS to the employee. The duration of sick leave periods was used as an indicator of the effectiveness of the process and the program. The first year results of the compass to will be discussed in the paper.


This study compares the RTW proses indicators (the number and quality of RTW plans in 30 days of sick leave) and RTW times in three most common musculoskeletal diseases (MSD) (ICD10 M75.1 rotator cuff syndrome: ICD10 M54.1 low back pain and ICD10 M17.0 osteoarthritis of the knee) during the the years 2012 and 2013. The research hypothesis is that the better the process is (100% response to continuing of the sick leave over 30 days; 100% RTW meetings at 60 days) the shorter is the RTW time and the less is sick leave time after RTW.


During 2013 after the launch of the new program the incidence of the new 30 day cases started to decline. The MSDF diagnoses represent 35% of all sick leaves, but 42% of all sick leaves over 30 days. The three most common MSD diagnoses (M75.1; M54.1 and M17.0) represent about 50% of all MSD diseases. This paper will consider more in detail RTW process and time in selected M diagnoses.


Most common MSD diagnoses represent about 50% of all RTW cases in construction industry. Technical support of RTW process will help to identify these cases and enhance RTW process but in the first year of implementation no significant effect on RTW could be demonstrated.

Schedule Details

Monday September 29
12:45 - 13:45 Poster Viewing
Session: Workplace