6 Steps to Decrease Injury Rates for Rural & Remote Workers

Ryan Tiernan Ryan Tiernan 20 September, 2017

What do the Statistics Say?

You are twice as likely to be hospitalised due to injury in remote regions of Australia. Recently published reports have identified that the workplace is a key setting responsible for this higher injury rate. This occurs in spite of overall workplace injury and loss time injury rates improving on a whole Australia wide. This outlines the frustrating lack of adequate services readily available for those working outside of a metropolitan area. 

How Can Rural & Remote Workplaces Decrease Injury Rates?

Being able to predict, prevent and manage workplace injury is an ongoing challenge for rural and remote workers. There are logistical barriers to traditional services such as onsite physiotherapy and health promotion programs. These include distance, poor internet access and limited mobile phone coverage.

So What Can be Done?

Contemporary research and programs both in Australia and internationally demonstrate that a focus on total worker health will aid in the prediction and prevention of workplace injury. To address total worker health, three areas must be assessed and provided with targeted intervention for workers who require it. These areas include:

  • Musculoskeletal
  • Psychosocial
  • Chronic disease

As the diagram outlines, it is rare that each of these risk factors exist in isolation. Businesses must be able to address these factors if they are going to be able to optimise the human capital of their workforce and prevent workplace injury. Here are 6 steps businesses with rural and remote workers can take to achieve this:

  1. Annual Health & Wellbeing Screening
  2. Targeted Interventions for Workers Identified in Screening
  3. Pre-Work Dynamic Warm Up & Post Work Static Stretching
  4. Recognise & Address Ergonomic Risk Factors
  5. Provision of Early Occupational Intervention for Injured Workers
  6. Availability of Workplace Telehealth services. This includes both workplace physio, medical and psychological support services delivered via Telehealth, Smart Phone Apps & Email.

Rural and remote workers deserve the high level of service that their metropolitan counterparts have access to. The traditional logistical barriers to service delivery need to be tackled, and at Employ Health we are embracing this challenge. If the total health of workers is improved your business will see improved injury rates by providing targeted interventions to the workers who require it. If you’d like any further information about this, including an elaboration on each of the 6 steps to decrease injury rates, email me at zac.lowth@employhealth.com.au.

Health trumps everything.