Central West Health & Rehabilitation
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Infographic- Dietary Salt May 23rd, 2014

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Science of Laziness May 23rd, 2014


Shoulder muscle loading during over head tasks May 22nd, 2014
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The task of wall painting produces considerable risk to the workers, both male and female, primarily in the development of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of gender, work height, and paint tool design on shoulder muscle activity and exerted forces during wall painting. 

Results: For both genders, the high working height imposed greater muscular demands compared to middle and low heights.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that, if possible, avoiding work at extreme heights will reduce fatigue onset and subsequently assist to prevent and mitigate potential musculoskeletal shoulder/neck injuries

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Infographic- Common Hazards for the Home Handyman May 22nd, 2014

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Infographic - Why Lift Weights May 20th, 2014

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Exercise is Medicine - InfoGraphic May 16th, 2014

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Poster - Sitting Take a Stand! May 9th, 2014

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Poster - Stand up for Your Health May 9th, 2014

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ABS - Soft Drinks, Burgers and Chips May 9th, 2014

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Walking Anatomy, Physiology and Benefits May 8th, 2014

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Health risks we'll face if we work till 70 May 8th, 2014
 

With the pension set to rise to 70, it's not just those doing hard physical labour who need to consider whether they can finish their working life with their health intact.

Yes, we're living longer, as Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey loves to remind us. A child born in Australia today can expect to live to around 82, up from about 55 in 1900.

Unfortunately, these extra years are not always healthy ones.

"Not all of the benefits of increased life expectancy are equating to [improved] quality of life," says Professor Mark Harris, executive director of the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity at the University of NSW.

And as the number of older workers grows – as predicted with a shift to a pension age of 70 – so too will the proportion of people in the workforce affected by conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, cognitive problems as well as vision and hearing loss, Harris says.

 

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How healthy will older workers be?


The proportion of Australians who rate their health as only fair or poor generally doubles between each life stage from 7 per cent of 15-24 year-olds to 13 per cent of 25-64 year-olds to 31 per cent of people aged 65 and over.

Some diseases that are more prevalent in older people and the implications of this for older workers (or those newly retired) are:

 

Cancer – For many types of cancer, the risk increases with age. By 75, 1 in 3 men and 1 in 4 women will be affected. Survival rates are improving, but even for those diagnosed in mid-life, treatments may need to continue for years and can leave ongoing disabilities.

Cardiovascular disease – The proportion of people affected almost doubles from 45-54 and 55-64. This grows by a further third or so (to almost half the population) by 65-79.

Osteoarthritis – a degenerative joint condition which often affects hands, hips, knees and ankles. After age 45, the prevalence rises sharply. "It hardly ever kills you but it can really affect your quality of life," Harris says. Arthritis and other problems affecting muscles and bones are among the leading cause of employment restrictions.

Type 2 diabetes – Around 15 per cent of 45-54 year-olds have type 2 diabetes and this increases to around 28 per cent of 65-74-year-olds. Says Harrris: "Someone with diabetes who has lots of complications, they may not die but they may spend a period of time quite disabled. They may even have to have amputations."

Vision disorders: Almost double between ages 35-44 and 45-54.

Hearing disorders: Around a third of people are affected by age 55-64 and this continues to grow.

Falls – start to increase age 70-74.

Cognitive issues: "Not necessarily dementia, but people simply having vascular problems in their brains. This starts to happen in the 70s particularly; people start not to be able to function as they have been."

 




Reference:


http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2014/05/08/4000407.htm



Heart Week 2014 Sunday 4 May - Saturday 10 May 2014 May 5th, 2014

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8 Ways to Prevent Sprains & Strains in the Workplace May 4th, 2014
50% of worksite injuries are sprains and strains are the greatest cause of workplace injury.

In the workplace most of these types of injuries are caused by manual tasks such as lifting or carrying loads, working in fixed positions, repetitive tasks or using heavily vibrating toolsThe second greatest cause of sprains and strains is slips, trips and falls at ground level and from heights such as jumping from vehicles, which can cause lower limb and back strains.

While some workplace hazards are easy to spot like a missing guard on a saw or a bucket in the middle of a busy shop floor sprains and strains are not always that obvious.  This is because they can be caused by the way work is designed and carried out like awkward body posture, high body force and high task repetition that is more insidious.

1.  Recognise the Signs – Aches, Become Pains, Become Injuries

Often musculoskeletal injury comes with warning signs and symptoms before an injury occurs, and long before any work is missed. Review the incident reports, listen to your workforce and keep an eye out for things like:



  • Comments about discomfort or pain

  • Stretching or rubbing muscles while working

  • Repetitive similar injuries with specific tasks

  • High turnover or absenteeism in a particular section



2.  Consult about Musculoskeletal Hazards

Talk to workers about the most difficult parts of the job like holding awkward body postures and doing highly repetitive work for extended periods and find a better way together.  Workers who are doing the job are generally best placed to find solutions.

3.  Fix the Hazards

Consider what improvements could be made to the way work is done to improve working posture such as the position of the work or change the workstation layout to eliminate excessive reaching or leaning forward.  Next time you go through a checkout look at the workstation layout and I am sure you will see the risks.

Position frequently used tools and equipment within easy reach and consider adjustable tables to accommodate everyone.  Likewise reduce manual handling by using mechanical lifts to support and to move heavy loads and try to eliminate the lift by changing how objects are stored.  Reducing the physical force and task repetition needed to do the job should be another focus.

Poor health contributes to the risk of strains and sprains. Workplace health promotion has a role in improving emplyee resilience

4.  Consider Individual Factors.

It’s important to take care of the entire body with exercise, proper posture, a sensible diet and adequate rest.  Injury is less likely in a worker who is physically fit than someone whose muscles or ligaments have weakened over time from lack of exercise or age.  Smoking and fatigue are also issues that impact the wear and tear on a body.

Promote individual physical fitness and healthy living through a company wellness program.  Think about introducing stretching before and during work to warm-up muscles and help relieve strain.  Provide training and coach workers frequently on how to move material safety using lifting equipment and safe postures.

5.  Focus on Ergonomic Design

Ergonomics is the match between design, the environment and the individual. It is not a one size fits all.  It allows quality work to be completed safely and easily by fitting the job to the worker and providing appropriate equipment. For example someone who is taller needs a different chair to someone below average height.

6.  Look at Organisational Hazards

If there is poor communication and organizational cooperation and limited worker involvement in decisions that affect working tasks then this will be reflected in a poor corporate culture, low worker morale and higher time lost and costs associated with sprains and strains such as workers’ compensation premium.

7.  Find Workplace Champions

Active OHS can help you address the risks in your workplace. It’s hard to effect change on your own.  It’s a Pantene thing it won’t happen overnight but it will happen if you have the right tools and support. Having workplace wellness champions can assist with raising overall awareness of the health, safety and welfare of the workforce by providing general information to colleagues as well as providing specific details on workplace risks and the support and assistance that is available to effect change.

8. Are you winning?

Set some Benchmarks. How does your workers’ compensation premium compare to other businesses in your industry?  Where do you sit when it comes to sprains and strains?

 

If you aren't winning our IMS Assessment is inexpensive and can help highlight areas of need. Contact us for more 


Reducing just six risk factors could prevent 37 million deaths from chronic diseases over 15 years May 3rd, 2014
Reducing or curbing just six modifiable risk factors -- tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, salt intake, high blood pressure and blood sugar, and obesity -- to globally-agreed target levels could prevent more than 37 million premature deaths over 15 years, from the four main non-communicable diseases (NCDs; cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory disease, cancers, and diabetes) according to new research published in The Lancet.

 

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Worryingly, the findings indicate that not reaching these targets would result in 38.8 million deaths in 2025 from the four main NCDs, 10.5 million deaths more than the 28.3 million who died in 2010. This is the first study to analyse the impact that reducing globally targeted risk factors will have on the UN's 25x25 target to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by 25% relative to 2010 levels by 2025.

Using country-level data on deaths and risk factors and epidemiological models, Professor Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London, UK, and colleagues estimate the number of deaths that could be prevented between 2010 and 2025 by reducing the burden of each of the six risk factors to globally-agreed target levels -- tobacco use (30% reduction and a more ambitious 50% reduction), alcohol use (10% reduction), salt intake (30% reduction), high blood pressure (25% reduction), and halting the rise in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes.

Overall, the findings suggest that meeting the targets for all six risk factors would reduce the risk of dying prematurely from the four main NCDs by 22% in men and 19% for women in 2025 compared to what they were in 2010. Worldwide, this improvement is equivalent to delaying or preventing at least 16 million deaths in people aged 30-70 years and 21 million in those aged 70 years or older over 15 years.

Writing in a linked Comment, Professor Rifat Atun from Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA says, "With political will and leadership, the 25×25 targets are well within reach. But despite robust evidence, well-proven cost-effective interventions, and a compelling case for action made by [this study] to address risk factors for NCDs to save millions of lives, political apathy prevails. Even with much discourse, meaningful and durable action against NCDs is scarce, with little accountability to achieve the promises made and the targets set at the General Assembly in 2011.

 

Complete our Free LifeRISK score to find out how many risk factors you have.

 

 


Obesity Surgery - Pre-Surgical Nutrition May 2nd, 2014
Many people waiting obesity surgery do not realise that the aim of the band is to sharply reduce food consumption. Preoperative education should include eating, psychological implications and risks and disadvantages of obesity surgery. Our registered dietitian can help patients make informed decisions.

People considering bariatric surgery must begin with preoperative weight loss using very low calorie diet (VLCD) meal replacements and low energy foods for 2—6 weeks. Some weight loss before the surgery reduces liver size and visceral and subcutaneous adiposity, making stomach access during surgery that much easier, minimising operative risks and length of surgery.

Our dietitian encourages the Optifast approach as the most evidence based VLCD.

 

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Introducing restrictive eating practices early also means patients understand what is required post-surgery. The length of this preoperative diet may depend on the patient’s initial weight and the maximum weight hospital and surgery beds can safely manage. 

A preoperative assessment of nutrient markers is recommended with sufficient time to correct nutritional deficiencies. Despite their well-nourished appearance, these patients are often found to be deficient in nutrients such as folate, iron, selenium vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Vitamin D may be low due to reduced sunlight cutaneous synthesis and modest dress. 

Preoperative nutrient defeciencies can be caused by poor diet choices, chronic dieting and medication side-effects. This pre-screening is also useful to distinguish post-surgery complications and biochemical changes.

Reference:


http://www.medicalobserver.com.au/news/banding-to-help-the-obese



Obesity Surgery - Post-Surgical Nutrition May 2nd, 2014
For the first two months the goals of postoperative nutrition care are to maintain adequate hydration; to correct and maintain nutrient status, including vitamins, minerals and protein, which are needed for healing; and to return gradually to normal food consistency.

Consistency begins with a liquid diet for the first 1—2 weeks, followed by puréed and soft foods for 2—4 weeks, and then smaller serves of normal foods. Progression through each texture will depend on the patient’s tolerance, and formulated products may be required. Nutritional deficiencies can still occur though from poorly tolerated foods and food consistencies, and unusual diets.

It is important for you to be psychological ready for this change in diet habits, as some patients continue dysfunctional eating of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods — just in smaller portions.

Lifelong changes in eating behaviour are required, depending on the procedure, such as eating regular, but much smaller meals, eating more slowly, cutting food into small pieces and chewing well, and avoiding filling up on liquids. Frequent testing of nutrient markers is required every six months in the first 1—2 years.

An exercise program is also a necessary part of the postoperative routine. Along with diet compliance, exercise helps prevent weight regain and maintain weight loss.

 


 

Reference:

http://www.medicalobserver.com.au/news/banding-to-help-the-obese


Safety First - Reduce UV Apr 30th, 2014

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Infographic - Multiple Sclerosis Apr 30th, 2014

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Infographic - Arthritis Apr 29th, 2014

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Workers Comp Cost Containment Starts With Post-Injury Investigation Apr 27th, 2014
Employers often think they have completed their investigation of the new workers’ compensation claim when they have finished filling out the WorkCover WA Claim Lodgement Form (CLF) and First Medical Certificate; The information on the CLF is a good start on investigating a new injury claim, but it is not the only information that needs to be developed when investigating an injury claim.

Much of the information on the CLF – employee name, address, date of birth, social security number, and home phone number – can be taken right off the employee’s personnel file; Other information to complete the CLF– date and time of the accident, location of the accident, what happen, etc., can be obtained from the injured employee’s supervisor or department manager. Often the CLF is completed without the injury management co-ordinator for the employer ever talking to the injured employee. This is a major mistake.


Post-Injury Interview Should Be Thorough


The injury managment co-ordinator should interview the injured employee, in person if possible or by phone if an in person interview is not possible, to discuss the accident. The interview should include several important questions or topics:


  1. Exactly where in the workplace did the accident occur?

  2. Was the employee doing his/her regular job?

  3. How did the accident occur?

  4. Was a third party responsible for the injury? (Think Cost Recovery).

  5. Repeat the details of the accident to the employee to verify your understanding of the accident is correct.

  6. Confirm the accident occurred within the course and scope of employment.

  7. Ask the employee what the employer can do to prevent the accident from happening again.

  8. Obtain the names of all coworkers who witnessed the accident.

  9. Ask the employee to provide a detailed description of all injuries, including symptoms and level of pain.

  10. Ask the employee what is the medical provider’s diagnosis, prognosis, treatment plan and work restrictions. (Think Return to Work)

  11. Confirm the employee treated at the designated medical facility.

  12. If the employee has treated at an unauthorized medical provider, instruct the employee on the correct medical provider for any additional medical treatment.

  13. If the employee has the right to select his/her own medical provider, obtain the name of the medical provider along with the address and phone number.

  14. Ask the employee if they have ever had a prior injury. (This includes both work-related injuries and non-work related injuries). Later, after your discussion with the employee, compare their answers to their job application to see if their “new work injury” is a pre-existing medical problem.

  15. If the employee does disclose a prior work-related injury(s), obtain the name of the employer(s) and the date(s) of the prior injury(s).

  16. Discuss with the injured employee what work the employee is still capable of doing within the work restrictions set by the medical provider. (Think Suiitable Duties)

  17. Review with the employee what the medical management program will do to assist in their recovery.

  18. Reinforce the need for the employee to contact you following each doctor’s visit for the purpose of providing you with an update on the medical recovery and the work restrictions.



Good Information Creates Improved Work Comp Claim Outcomes


While this might seem like a lot of information to collect if the employee should be off work only for a few days or a few weeks, it is essential you do so. When the employer does not have a complete investigation and complete understanding of the medical care and progress, there is a much higher probability the injured employee will exploit the injury and being off work a few months or years rather than days or weeks.

Also, your investigation into the claim can often be essential in the prevention, or at least limitation, of medical treatment and lost work days due to pre-existing medical conditions. Plus, when employees know that the employer thoroughly investigates every injury claim, the incidents of fraudulent claims is greatly diminished.


Work Cover WA - Worker Compensation Claim Form Apr 27th, 2014

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Work Cover WA - First Medical Certificate Apr 27th, 2014

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Physical Activity Levels in Children Apr 26th, 2014
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Physical Activity during childhood produces immediate and, long-term health benefits in adulthood. WHO international guidelines recommend that children participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily. Worldwide, research has indicated that children are not achieving these guidelines, with estimates of activity levels varying both between and within countries. For example, 42% of children aged six to 11 years in the United States [16] participate in 60 minutes of MVPA daily. Similarly, in the United Kingdom (UK), objectively measured PA measurements indicate that just 51% of four to 10 year olds (33% of four to 15 year olds) meet the recommended guidelines. Achieving the recommended levels of PA per day is essential for the prevention and treatment of many health problems such as obesity. In particular, with evidence of tracking PA from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood, developing an active lifestyle from a young age may also produce long term benefits.

Being a member of a sports or fitness club, and, having an active favourite hobby were both positively associated with higher levels of PA. Exceeding two hours of total screen time and being overweight or obese were negatively correlated with higher PA levels. Children who were members of a sports or fitness group were almost twice as likely to be in the high PA group compared to children who were not. Exceeding 2 hours of totoal screen time reduced the likelihood of high PA by 44%.



Managing Stress Apr 23rd, 2014

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10 proactive hazard identification methods Apr 23rd, 2014
Here are 10 methods you could adopt to identify health and safety hazards before an incident occurs:


  1. conducting pre-start discussions on the work to be carried out;

  2. encouraging workers to recognise and highlight hazards while performing work;

  3. carrying out safety inspections and audits of the workplace and work procedures;

  4. conducting job safety analyses (or similar task evaluation processes);

  5. monitoring, measuring and testing the working environment such as noise monitoring, electrical testing and atmospheric testing;

  6. analysing proposed new or modified plant, material, process or structure;

  7. conducting hazard (or risk) surveys;

  8. reviewing product information, e.g. safety data sheets, operating manuals; and

  9. researching publicly available data on hazards, e.g. newspaper articles, industry or safety regulator alerts; and

  10. looking at past incident and near-miss reports. 


Reference:

Health & Safety Bulletin