Workplace injuries can be significantly reduced by undertaking an education programme.
The education programme will have most impact if it is used in conjunction with effective and continuous re-enforcement of the key concepts and phrases, and effective management of DPI.
Prior to embarking on a programme of education it is important to consider the objectives on the programme and ensure these objectives are SMART (specific / measurable / achievable / realistic / timely).
Injury prevention education should include;
This could be in the format of:
- Explanation of the continuum Discomfort ► Pain ► Injury
- An understanding of common cases of DPI. Why they occur and how to avoid them.
- Emphasis on fact that DPI tends to be multi-factorial in nature and rarely a result of one isolated event.
- Understanding of the term ‘critical threshold’.
- Basic anatomy, physiology and biomechanics as related to the neck, back shoulders and upper limb.
- An understanding of neutral posture and how this relates to the neck, back, shoulders and upper limb.
- Sitting, Standing, Lifting and Handling postures and practical work/home postures and examples.
- The ability to understand and recall key phrases devised by the physiotherapists to help retain the key messages in a specific workplace.
- An understanding of various techniques to reduce injury in specific roles.
- First Aid positions, stretches and exercises for early self management of discomfort.
- Clear and precise care pathways for Employees who report DPI
All of these methods would have to be backed up by continuous reinforcement of the key concepts and phrases from team leaders at team meetings, training coordinators and health and safety reps
- Health promotion events
- Web based information
- Health and safety ‘ambassadors’ within the workplace
- Injury prevention e-newsletter
It is therefore important to;
- Reinforce health and safety messages using consistent language..
- Conduct health and safety risk assessments for all jobs and ensure common workplace injuries are considered in education planning. It may help to categories roles in terms of;
- Mainly sitting
- Mainly standing
- Involving lifting and handling
- Ensure all staff receive training and education appropriate to their risk factors.
- Give individuals skills so they can actively take responsibility for their own work space and their own injury prevention.
- Teach team leaders ‘first aid’ principles to assist them with early decision making.
- Teach team leaders the importance of Early Intervention and when they should refer on to a physiotherapist.
- Ensure there are health and safety trainers or ambassadors throughout the business who are effectively trained and can induct others and promote workplace safety.
- Inform managers on common discomfort patterns to enable better decision making.
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Work Place Design and Processes
Workplace design and processes should be continually reviewed in conjunction with the information being supplied by Willis Street Physiotherapy.
By collecting DPI information and relating it to roles within the organisation patterns quickly emerge. Our experienced Physiotherapists will identify risk areas and tasks. Once the patterns are understood for different roles education programmes are developed. This knowledge is useful when considering workplace furniture and work flows and processes.
The DPI continuum is a process of sustained overloading. By understanding worksites, workflows and role specific DPI patterns, changes that vary soft tissue loading can be easily implemented.
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Pre Employment Screening
We provide pre employment screening service.
The main function of this service is to determine the person’s ability to complete the functional demands of the role they are applying for. The service is not to be used as a basis for not hiring someone.
Instead we aim to identify: if there is pre-work treatment or conditioning required for a safe initiation to the work; if there are extra risks associated with the specific role; what to look for as an early sign of problems; and what to do if problems occur.
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Work Station Postural and Functional Assessments
It is vital that the work place is set-up correctly to allow the individual to interact within it with safe and efficient posture and in a functionally correct way.
Willis Street Physiotherapy can offer advice on the how to organise the work station to best suit your needs and also how to interact with it safely.
It is important to stress that the best work station set-up will not in itself stop DPI, how the individual interacts with it is much more important.
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