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València, May 9, 2024.- The first cause of sick leave in Spain corresponds to musculoskeletal disorders. Furthermore, as confirmed by a study by the National Institute of Safety and Health at Work (INSST), the processes of Temporary Disability (TI) in those episodes that represent relapses have a sick leave time of an average of 71 days, which means a average of 20.6 days higher than that of new-onset ailments.

Given this situation, and taking into account the enormous problem, both health and economic, that this represents for workers and organizations, respectively, the Institute of Biomechanics (IBV), a leading innovation center in the field of Safety and Occupational Health, is carrying out a project, framed in the PREVENT Foundation’s research scholarship program, to identify the key reasons for these reinstatements, which in most cases are not effective.

As a starting point, we wanted to have the vision and experience of all the agents involved in this process to understand why the current protocols are not effective and from there create new protocols and tools that adapt to current needs, improving thus the result of reincorporation.

Precisely for this reason, a conference has been organized at the Institute of Biomechanics in which own prevention services and human resources professionals from different companies, third-party prevention services, mutual societies collaborating with social security, unions and different institutions have shared their point. point of view from his experience facing reinstatement after this type of discharge.

Specifically, the event included the participation of Andrés Lluch Figueres, General Director of Labor, Cooperatives and Occupational Safety of the Generalitat Valenciana and Director of the Valencian Institute of Safety and Health at Work – INVASSAT and Pilar Fuentes Llopico, Territorial Director of Labor and Social Security Inspection of the Valencian Community; as well as with representatives of the Labor Inspection and the National Social Security Institute (INSS); of joint prevention services such as SEAT S.A., of own prevention services such as Grupo El Alto, Cinco Tenedores or leading companies in the food distribution sector; from outside prevention services such as Valora Prevention, UNIMAT or Grupo OTP; and MCSS such as ASEPEYO, Unión de Mutuas or UMIVALE.

“The main objective of this project is to identify the problems encountered by organizations and the different agents involved in the reintegration of workers after long-term IT processes or relapses due to MSDs and why the current protocols are not “successful”, to Based on this information, make proposals that allow these protocols to be redefined,” explained the director of innovation in Occupational Health and Wellbeing at IBV, Mercedes Sanchis. Specifically, this discussion group has put on the table key points such as the requirements that a return to work procedure should include after a long-term sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), or the real availability of return to work protocols, both in these cases such as those people who have recurrent absences due to the same injury.

“The current protocols do not adjust to the reality of the organizations and the different agents involved. Precisely for this reason, there is an inefficient or non-existent application of them.” In this way, Sanchis has defined the hypothesis of this study, which outlines a series of steps to follow, among which the most important ones are knowing if companies really have a strategy to face these reincorporations, how the different agents involved are interacting, or If there are protocols at an international level that are being successful and can be applicable in Spain.

During the day, we had the opportunity to visit the cutting-edge facilities that IBV has for the study of human factors, analysis of movements, functional capacities of people and key ergonomic aspects for the design of the jobs of the future. with a greater adjustment between the capabilities of workers and the demands of the positions.

Finally, it should be noted that this project has received funding from the Prevent Foundation (scholarship).

Press Contact:


Sergio Zarco- 677021450

Antonio Monsalve – 656266846

The Institute of Biomechanics (IBV) is a technological center that develops and transfers scientific knowledge and technologies to improve the health, well-being and quality of life of people, adding value to companies and the social and economic environment.

It studies the behavior of the human body and its relationship with the products, environments and services that people use, combining knowledge from different disciplines that, through areas of knowledge such as 3D anthropometry, biomedical engineering, human factors, Digital health and user experience apply to multiple sectors with the aim of responding to their challenges and helping to promote business innovation.

Concerted between the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE) and the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) its activity began in 1976. It is a member of REDIT and FEDIT, and is registered as a state-level Technology Center (CT) according to the Royal Decree 2093/2008.


Issuer: Institute of Biomechanics (IBV)