Common Occupational Health Issues and Their Prevention Strategies

Most people are aware of the occupational health and safety concerns that underpin their working environment.

To combat these, workplaces have implemented preventative and hazard minimisation strategies in their mindsets and work practices.

Unfortunately, there are some factors that continue to create problems and put certain employees at risk. While it is uncommon for workplace related injuries to be fatal, the inconvenience, income loss, and time and energy involved in treatment are significant.

Prevention strategies are by far the better approach. Fortunately, there are prevention strategies that can be adopted and some of these can go a little further than the standard recommended OH&S procedures.

Taking responsibility for injury and illness prevention is a positive action you can take in your workplace.

5 Problem Areas in the Workplace

  1. Manual Handling

This is the most common cause of injury in the workplace. Any activity that involves lifting, pushing, pulling or resisting must be undertaken with care. Correct lifting techniques will protect your back and must be followed. Never rush into a manual handling action, and always ask for assistance when needed.

  1. Chronic Lower Back Pain

This often comes about from sitting at a computer or machine for hours at a time. Ergonomically designed workbenches and seating will help support your back, neck and shoulders. Taking regular breaks from a seated position, stretching and moving, will release tension and prepare the body for more sitting.

  1. Injury on the Worksite

Worksite cultures are often focused on getting on with the job. Taking the time to stretch, wear back support braces and ensure careful lifting may be regarded as a weakness. But remember, it is your body that will suffer down the track, long after these work days are over. By having the foresight to follow these routines, you can help others to feel comfortable in doing so as well. Taking preventative measures is the most responsible thing we can do, for both our workplace and ourselves.

  1. Injuries in the Agricultural Sector

This is an industry where serious injury can occur. Inexperienced workers without adequate information and those carrying pre-existing conditions can enter into activities that are potentially very dangerous. Safety procedures save lives and must be followed at all times. Stretch and warm up before heavy lifting, make sure you are aware of and follow safe lifting procedures, and never operate machinery or vehicles unless you are trained to do so.

  1. Eye strain

Eye strain can cause migraines, tension headaches and elevated stress levels. Rather than pushing through these conditions, address the cause. Eye strain may simply mean a visit to the optometrist is in order. Correcting eye strain will support the future health of your eyes and allow you to continue working productively.

Workplace Awareness and Early Intervention

Sharing and building awareness with fellow employees is one of the best defences against workplace injury. Challenging workplace practices that do not comply is sometimes necessary. If you have a problem, seek help before it becomes worse or it involves you and others in an accident. To make a booking or learn more about occupational health, ergonomic assessments or other therapies, contact our friendly team on 08 8331 1557 or drop into one of our clinics and speak with our staff.