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Altius Group Exercise Physiologists Jack Whitaker and Chad Vo Explain how Workplace Treatment Sessions Aid a Successful Return to Work

Did you know over the course of an average lifetime, up to 13 years and 2 months (or 4821 days) is spent at work. However, work has many benefits. According to the Royal Australian College of Physicians, these benefits include: Participation in physical activity; A sense of community and social inclusion and making a contribution to society; Structure and routine; Financial security and a Decreased likelihood of engagement in risky behaviours.

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (2016-2017), published a total of 91,948 employment injuries or diseases were reported under the NSW Workers Compensation scheme. Of these injuries, the average time not spent at work was 11 weeks per injury.

That’s almost three months where injured workers were unable to engage in their normal working routines, quickly losing out on the valuable benefits of work. During this ‘lost time,’ injured workers quickly lose their conditioning and ability to perform their normal duties and enjoyable activities.

OccHealth by Altius recognises that rehabilitating injured workers is complex and understands this sustained disruption in each injured worker’s lives. With specialist experience, industry knowledge and evidence-based practice, we emphasise work as a primary focus of our holistic Work-Related Activity Treatment. We recognise that functional recovery extends beyond exercise programs.

Through an evidence-based, collaborative approach, our exercise physiologists provide physical, functional and behavioural solutions. These are combined with cost-effective strategies to match each injured worker with their specific workplace demands to encourage empowerment with their rehabilitation program, ultimately leading to sustainable and successful return to the workforce following an injury. The performance of meaningful activities specific to the injured worker’s job forms the basis of our treatment plans.

How Do We Tailor Treatment Sessions To Work-Specific Demands?

Workplace treatment sessions enable workers and their employers to identify hazards and risky behaviours within the work environment by placing the worker’s health and safety first. Our allied health professionals spend time at a workplace to:

  1. Observe Work Tasks: Workers can sometimes rush and perform work tasks inefficiently due to expected time frames or pressures from work. However, striving for efficiency can often compromise safety. Workplace treatment sessions ensure all work tasks are observed to identify and address any risky behaviours.
  2. Identify and Address Risky Behaviours: By identifying and addressing risky behaviours, workers are educated on changing or adjusting the way they work, which is often set to “automatic”. Through education, our workers are able to think about the task at hand to perform each task safely.
  3. Implement Safety Strategies: Ergonomics and safe manual handling is addressed to ensure workers are confident and empowered to perform all required work tasks in a safe and durable manner. These strategies are then practiced during treatment sessions to ensure maximum efficiency, safety and durability.
Workplace Treatment Sessions - The Benefits of Focusing On Work Duties During Rehabilitation Programs:
  1. Injury Prevention: Work, health and safety practices through education on effective manual handling and ergonomics training can significantly avoid or reduce the risk of injury.
  2. Cost Efficiencies: Safety strategies and education through workplace treatment sessions ensures the safety of workers, lowering the risk of injury, which can save costs for employers and businesses.
  3. Addressing Workplace Barriers: Treatment sessions in the workplace identify potential work hazards and risky behaviours to ensure they are addressed. Appropriate actions can then be taken to mitigate workplace hazards and behaviours.
  4. Empowerment: Our specialists work with individual employees to empower them to take charge of their responsibilities at work as well within their homes and community. This approach provides workers with the confidence to engage in their work tasks or responsibilities.
  5. Ergonomics Awareness: Improves productivity in the workplace. This is achieved by creating a safe and healthy workstation/workplace that allows for good posture, better heights, less exertion and over-reaching, the workplace becomes more efficient.

Read about a client’s journey supported by Workplace Treatment Sessions.