Different workers have different challenges and issues that need to be addressed in the workplace and as an employer, you have a duty of care to your staff part of having a strong holistic health and safety strategy is having a strong approach to health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Some members of staff may struggle with health issues more than others but that is not an excuse to let your duties as an employer slide. You should ensure you are aware of any issues and have everything you need to help workers manage them in the workplace.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a chronic pain condition that can develop following trauma. Some of the symptoms and issues can include:
- intense, burning, debilitating and persistent pain;
- greatly heightened skin sensitivity;
- a change in skin colour;
- skin temperature changes;
- abnormal hair and nail growth.
A recent survey from CRPS compensation claims specialist BLB uncovered that 62% of the UK have never heard of the condition even though approximately 16,000 people suffer from it within the United Kingdom.
Data shared by BLB from Google Trends also shows that the average monthly searches for the condition are growing despite a general lack of awareness in the area, potentially indicating that more people are suffering from the condition but the public perception of this chronic illness is not growing or changing.
The data from BLB also showed that the lack of awareness was not as prevalent in younger age groups with over 14% of respondents in the 18-24 age bracket responding yes to the question of whether or not they were aware of the condition. This contrasted with the 7.25% who indicated they knew of the condition. Overall, 62% of respondents had not heard of the disease with 9% of respondents replying yes and almost 29% indicating that they were not sure.
How to help employees with CRPS
When it comes to helping employees living with CRPS some of the same principles apply to wider chronic pain issues. Being able to listen actively to employees living with CRPS will give you a better understanding of the issues and the steps that can be made to make the employee’s life at work easier. Flexibility in the method and hours of work can also give those living with chronic pain like CRPS the independence they need to work around their condition where possible and take time out during particularly painful timeframes. Increasing access to chronic pain management resources specifically themed around CRPS will also help your workers.
CRPS is often described as the ‘suicide disease’ as the pain has been noted as ‘off the scale’ amongst suffers, so creating an environment where open communication around the condition is encouraged will increase awareness and help those suffering with the condition be heard.