Are you proactive in preventing and managing workplace discomfort in order to avoid development of pain and insurance (or ACC) claims?
This is important for you as the costs of treatment and lost production exceed the costs of a good prevention and management programme by far
- It is important to work on a non threatening culture in your company in relation to developing discomfort due to work, because then early reporting followed by early inexpensive intervention becomes possible.
- If you wait too long with intervention the problem may escalate in time of work and the longer that situation exists, the lesser the chance that the client will return to work and normal pre-injury duties
- A system that has clear immediate steps in place which can be followed by all concerned in a consistent way will safe thousands of dollars
It will prevent the following costly scenario
One of your workers has shoulder pain due to repetitive lifting at work and calls in sick. He visits the GP and explains that his job involves lifting and his shoulder is too painful to do this. He is signed of work initially for a week, but it escalates in to month of work.
The cost of his replacement salary and lost productivity is easily a couple of thousand dollars.
If he would have felt safe to ask for help when he felt the first discomfort, then the below explained step 1, would have kept him safe and productive.
Step 1 will only cost a few hundreds of dollars
What are the Steps to Take?
If there is a nonthreatening atmosphere and an early reporting system (which we can help you set up), then many of your workers will only need the least costly first intervention step ( step 1 and 2 are meant for “non-accident” scenarios before GPs, specialists and case managers are involved and step 1 and 2 are funded by the employer )
A worksite assessment which involves the actual workplace set up and more importantly education on how to set up your own work site so it prevents pain, and what techniques to implement to avoid pain : breaks, micropauses, taskvariation, correct use of tools or for example the mouse.
It will also involve education on posture and workplace exercises ( especially stretches of the muscles most loaded due to either tool or equipment use or static constrained postures ). And work techniques such as a safe lifting technique.
There will also be discussion with (and if needed some education of) the direct boss or supervisor, so this person can support and re-inforce the needed changes.
Armed with all that knowledge and changed workhabits, most of your workers will succeed in decreasing their discomfort rapidly.
For some ( especially those who allowed the discomfort or pain to be there for too long) the next step maybe needed.
All of the above AND a few sessions in the clinic to release the overloaded muscles ( with help of massage techniques that involve triggerpoint deactivation this needs to be linked to a part on the web that explains OOS treatment ).
Also further in clinic education on posture and self treatment and safe working techniques. A follow up on the worksite assessment may also be needed to see if the implementation of the changes is going according to plan. The 3 in clinic treatments will be spaced out over a month to see how the client progresses with little intervention and a lot of self management.
If the pain is not too severe and there is enough motivation, most clients will not need any further intervention
In some cases due to severity, late notification and or chronicity of the complaints a claim may have to be lodged with help of the GP.
We will Guide the lodging of the claim and if needed we will liaise with the GP, so the GP knows about the strategies that are in place already and to avoid that the GP takes the client of work unnecessary.
It is proven again and again that it is vital to keep the client working even if it is in a different role with changed and/or reduced duties. Problems escalate rapidly once the employee is of work ( loss of confidence in relation to the ability to return to work in combination with fear of re-injury is a very difficult scenario to change and often needs expensive cognitive behavioural and lengthy return to work programmes).
We will also Implement the OOS treatment protocol of Physical Sense (link to our OOS treatment protocol site) And a link to our education site
If needed we can implement a graded return to work programme and arrange liaison between us, the GP and/or specialist , the case manager and a representative of your organisation.
How can you minimise the development of job discomfort?
- By educating your employees on how to be fit for work.
- Have them responsible for their own good health.
- Have them aware of the health risk factors in relation to their job.
- Have them educated on preventative factors such as relevant exercises and stretches, optimal posture and technique for the job.
- Have them educated on what they can do them self to optimise their worksite for physical and mental health.
To achieve all that we can do prevention presentations after familiarising ourselves with the jobs concerned to make the prevention presentations tailor made for your company.