Work Related Injuries
Work related Injuries
The direct costs to ACC, “such as employers’ lost-time injury and human capital costs, are at least $3.5 billion each year. Work-related health costs are harder to determine, but are significantly higher. Poor health and safety practices also reduce productivity. Designing safety into business practices increases innovation and improves quality and efficiency”. (ACC and Worksafe NZ: Reducing Harm in NZ Workplaces Action Pan 2016-2019)
“Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their workers. ACC’s role is to work with New Zealand businesses and agencies and provide resources to help prevent injuries both in and out of the workplace” (Ref: ACC website)
Any employer knows that choosing the right employee is paramount for the profitability of their business. If you want to find out if a prospective employee is physically capable of doing the job, Merivale Physiotherapy can assist you with performing a pre-employment screening assessment that matches their job description. This assessment can also highlight any pre-existing weaknesses or injuries that could potentially put them or other members of your staff at risk and impact on your ACC experience rating.
Aside from the major accidents at work, many injuries begin as niggles and then increase in frequency and duration and before long they are impacting not only on work but also on your leisure or family time.
There are a number of causes of these pains, with the umbrella term for them being Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) or Gradual Process Injuries (GPI). Any repetitive work practice or activity that can cause muscles to be activated for long periods can be vulnerable. Muscles use energy derived from the blood to function. When the muscles are tense these blood vessels are constricted, slowing the flow of blood. If the blood flow is restricted for too long, the muscles work inefficiently. This uses energy very quickly, tires the muscle, and leads to a build-up of acid waste products. This causes pain and the muscle stiffens, making it harder still for the muscle to work. We know this to be true when we have exercised muscles at the gym, that muscles and tendons fatigue we feel the delayed muscle onset but with overuse injuries, often the muscles or their tendon attachments are strained beyond their capacity and have insufficient time to rest and recover.
At Merivale Physiotherapy we can assist in your recovery as ACC rarely accepts these injuries today. Your Doctor must register your injury with ACC and in the time it takes for ACC to assess your claim, your injury will be covered in order for you to seek our help.
Merivale Physiotherapists are trained at musculoskeletal assessments and biomechanical analysis of work postures. Minor changes to your posture, joint flexibility and lifestyle can make huge changes to your productivity and enjoyment at work and home allowing you to stay active.
ACC has a wonderful resource on their website for injury prevention and we encourage you to test yourself against it. Self-management is the key to success.
Tools for injury prevention
- www.Habitatwork.co.nz – educate workers and managers about how to prevent and manage discomfort, pain and injury in the workplace.
- Work smart tips – create personalised sheets of stretches and health and safety tips for a worker, a team or even a whole workplace.
- Risk reckoner – helps to assess the risk of discomfort, pain or injury associated with a particular manual handling task. Use the online risk reckoner demo to see how it works.