World Day for Safety & Health at Work

The 28th April is the World Day for Safety & Health at Work, an initiative aiming to raise awareness about occupational hazards, accidents and work related injuries and conditions.

Here at Precision Physio, we have a specialised approach and interest in occupational injuries. We see a diverse range of conditions stemming from various industries, with varying root causes. We also know that many of the injuries we treat, probably could have been prevented in the first place.

Safety Health at Work

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

So in our contribution to raising awareness about the importance of safety and health at work, we wanted to share with you some strategies that may help to promote prevention and shine a light on staying safe at work.

  1. Injury Prevention Assessments: Conduct regular assessments of the workplace to identify potential hazards and risk factors, and work with employees to develop strategies for elimination or minimising these risks through engineering controls, administrative controls or personal protective equipment.
  2. Education & Training: Providing employees with education and training sessions on ergonomic principles, correct body mechanics and injury prevention techniques. Consider work design and ensure employees know how to perform tasks safely, minimising potential risks to themselves or others, and consider ways to improve how tasks could be performed more safely and efficiently.
  3. Workstation Ergonomics: Assess and optimise workstation ergonomics to ensure that employees are working in a comfortable and efficient environment. This includes adjusting the height of chairs and desks, positioning computer monitors at eye level, and providing supportive equipment such as ergonomic chairs, headsets or sit/stand workstations, and implementing strategies to prevent prolonged sitting. Some strategies could be as easy as only filling water bottles up halfway, this means employees will need to get up to refill bottles (with the added bonus of promoting water consumption!).
  4. Manual Handling Techniques: Teach employees proper manual handling techniques to reduce the risk of strains and sprains when lifting, carrying, or moving objects. Emphasise the importance of using the legs instead of the back, keeping the load close to the body, and avoiding twisting movements. Consider safer ways of performing physically demanding work such as enforcing 2 person lifts or the use of aids or equipment such as trolleys to move heavy and awkward items.
  5. Physical conditioning programs: Support your employees by providing physical conditioning programs tailored to the specific demands of their work that can incorporate exercises to improve strength, flexibility, balance and coordination, that helps them also perform tasks safely and effectively. Consider implementing similar programs as part of your corporate health and wellbeing offerings.
  6. Encourage Breaks & Movement: Encourage employees to take regular breaks throughout the workday to rest and stretch their muscles. Encourage them to engage in light physical activity such as walking or stretching during breaks to reduce muscle tension and improve circulation. One technique our CEO, Pete Magner, implements here at Precision Physio, are walking meetings as a way to promote movement and exercise.
  7. Promote work/life balance: Encourage employees to engage in regular exercise, get an adequate amount of sleep, and practice stress management techniques to reduce the risk of injury and improve overall well-being. Many organisations endorse health and wellbeing employee benefit programs to allow employees to access activities that support healthy lifestyles.

There may also be times where you may require additional and independent guidance to ensure the safety of your employees and colleagues, particularly if there are any concerns around their health, or their fitness to safely return to work following absence from work or following an injury or disease. This could include:

  • Workplace assessments
  • Job Task Analysis Assessments
  • Pre-Employment Medical Assessments
  • Functional Assessments
  • Fitness for Duty Medicals & Functional/Physical Assessments

By looking at strategies to help eliminate or reduce the risk of injury or re-injury, organisations can maintain a productive and fit workforce, and your employees can go home safely to their families. Prioritising injury prevention and taking proactive steps to protect against injury fosters a culture of safety and health within the workforce, and for the longer term.

You can start by incorporating work, health and safety into your regular team meetings, and set an expectation to share a safety moment to keep safety and prevention front of mind.

How do we help?

Here at Precision Physio, with a combined approach of Physiotherapy and Exercise Physiology, we aim to understand the root causes of our client’s injury, address poor movement patterns and aim to not only rehabilitate our clients to their pre-injury work and activities, but address any factors that may pose risk of re-injury, aggravations or exacerbations. Our team of Clinicians work together to empower clients to understand their condition, and work towards independence and self management with a focus on exercise intervention to achieve long term and overall well being.

You don’t have to wait for an injury to occur! Early intervention and prevention will make a difference for the longer term. With clinics in St Marys, Mt Druitt and Concord, reach out to our friendly team on 9623 2220 to discuss how we can assist you, your workforce or your employees to support a stronger and healthier business.

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