The initial assessment in the workplace is a proactive and fundamental practice to enable the management of risks that may predispose employees to injuries. Among the common injuries is the shoulder injury that affects many employees regardless of the sector.
Repetitive strain injury affecting the shoulders often stems from prolonged or repetitive movements. In the workplace, this could include the use of machines and heavy lifting among others. However, it’s important to note that the physical intensive tasks aren’t the only ones that can predispose employees to shoulder injuries. Sedentary tasks can weaken a worker’s muscles allowing for shoulder pain to manifest and so does, bad posture.
Regardless of the condition, when employees are unwell performance can be negatively affected. This is where initial assessment comes in. A shoulder assessment is vital in establishing the cause of pain. Not only does it allow for a comprehensive treatment to undertaken at the workplace but also enables the development of preventive measures.
Preventing shoulder injuries in the workplace
To minimize the risk of injury, employers are advised to optimize the work environment to reduce the impact of the stress caused by the daily routines on employees.
Shoulder injury rehabilitation
The process is aimed towards helping the injured worker safely return back to work at the earliest possible time. Although the main goal is usually to get the employees back to their pre-injury roles, having a suitable duties plan helps get them on alternative tasks. The rehabilitation process incorporates the following;
The initial assessment incorporates a full testing of the shoulder to also diagnose the exact source of discomfort and the extent of the injury with regard to movement and strength. The medical history of the injured employee should also be considered. Other factors considered during the initial assessment include;
- The employee transferable skills
- Employment interest
- Pre-injury earnings
- Vocational retraining
Treatment should be specific and based on the diagnosis established in the initial assessment. Types of shoulder injuries include; rotator cuff injury, peripheral nerve impairment, frozen shoulder, dislocated shoulder, impaired range of motion and other overuse injuries.
Depending on the nature of the injury, affected employees may be asked to avoid certain activities.
At Recovery Partners, we understand that prevention is better than a cure. Our Health and Wellness Program is designed to understand your corporate culture and the specific issues that need to be addressed. Our program can help reduce the effects of both minor and chronic injuries and the subsequent absenteeism. As a result, we can increase individual resilience and overall wellbeing.
If you’re interested, you can enquire through our online referral system here. Alternatively, our consultants love to have a chat, so give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW.
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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