Workplace Injury Prevention
Musculoskeletal sprains and strains are one of the leading causes of morbidity and disability in the workplace, accounting for approximately 50% of all Lost Time Injuries (LTI’s). As the injuries or conditions become more serious and impinge on a person’s functional capacity, their work performance and productivity are also likely to decrease. This can result in enormous economic costs for both the employee and the employer. Research shows up to 50% of all LTIs can be prevented through postural balancing and correcting muscular imbalances as well as strengthening and mobilisation exercises.
We know that muscular imbalances and posture-related dysfunctions are a major cause of occupational injuries and repetitive strain injuries within the workplace. By assessing a person’s movement capacity and by screening for musculoskeletal dysfunction/ imbalances, we can provide the appropriate intervention and exercise advice. There is ample research to support this proactive approach, with organisations seeing large reductions in injury occurrence and lost time due to injuries.
Attention Training for Safety
Research tells us that we are on ‘auto-pilot’ 47% of the time- which means we are ‘mindless’ and ‘not paying attention’ for almost half of our lives. Complacency is common in workplaces where staff do the same job tasks every day. This repeated attention to a particular task can result in neural pathways being formed and developed- allowing the staff member to do the job easier and with less brain energy expended. However, the ‘auto-pilot’ that results from this is incredibly dangerous in regards to safety and liklihood of injuries. This mindless behaviour in the workplace can lead to mistakes, accidents, injuries, trips and falls. It is imperative that staff learn how to train their brains to be more present, mindful and more aware in order to do their jobs safely, with the correct posture and with the correct equipment.
Awareness of Mind and Body
We have learnt that the most effective and proactive way to prevent injuries is to teach awareness. Awareness of the body and awareness of the mind. This new and innovative combined approach to both mental health and physical health has proven to be incredibly effective. Unlike traditional manual handling programs which do not always engage the employees and train the mind (as well as the body), our success can be attributed to mindfulness training which results changes in attitude, engagement and culture. Pre-program screening and assessment is conducted on both the individual and workplace, allowing for the development of a tailored program. This aspect of specific ‘on the job’ training is important for engaging the participation of all employees and further enhancing workplace morale.
The Engage Program
Engage is a unique and innovative injury prevention program, proven to reduce the incidence and severity of workplace injuries. We are committed to ensuring future injuries are prevented and that site morale and work engagement is improved.
The Engage program is specifically tailored to the workplace and is structured in a way that raises awareness of common injuries, educates on how to protect against them and teaches long-term prevention strategies. As sustainability is at the forefront of our training, workplace coaches are selected from within the group of participating employees. They are trained to conduct short mindfulness exercises, proactive warm-up-for-work stretches as well as balance, strengthening and mobilisation exercises with their colleagues. The program runs for three to six months, depending on your company size and organisational needs.
Benefits of the Engage program for participants
- Reduced risk of injury
- Increased flexibility
- More mindful and self-aware employees
- Improved posture and reduced muscular imbalances
- Decreased pain, tension and muscle tightness
- Improved functional strength and core stability
- Improved balance and co-ordination
- Increased energy and decreased fatigue
Benefits of the Engage program for the employer
- Reduced Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR)
- Reduced number of injury claims
- Lowered insurance premiums
- More alert, energetic, mindful employees
- Increased productivity
- Improved perception of employee value within the organisation
- Improved team cohesion and workplace morale
The program is facilitated in four main stages:
1. WORKPLACE ASSESSMENT
- Job task analysis/ workplace design/ safe work practices
- Customisation and screening
2. WORKSHOP FACILITATION
- Attention training and awareness practices for safety and resilience (ongoing opportunities and resources for practice)
- Functional manual handling training / musculoskeletal health education
- Practical guided exercises & stretching
- Mindfulness coaching & relaxation exercises
3. LEADER IDENTIFICATION AND TRAINING
- Train-the-trainer- Ongoing support for the leaders
4. ON-GOING SUSTAINABILITY
- Access to online recordings
- Proactive warm-up-for-work/ ‘on the job’ exercises (optional)
Current legislation requires an employer to minimise the risk of manual handling injuries to employees. A physical demands assessment, otherwise known as a job task analysis, is a breakdown of the skills and demands specific to a particular duty within the workplace. A thorough assessment of the workplace is conducted to highlight the hazards and main injury risks. This allows for preventative strategies to be developed and implemented.
Our job task analysis and risk assessment will:
- Identify and assess injury risks within your workplace
- Provide safety recommendations
- Ensure you comply with legislation
- Recommend suitable and safe equipment
- Provide an essential tool for negotiating suitable duties for employees returning to work by liaising with treating doctors and other health care professionals
- Assist with the implementation of the Engage injury prevention program
On-site training can be arranged at your premises for your convenience.