TORONTO, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - The month of October has been designated Healthy
Workplace Month by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. The
Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) recognizes the serious health risks
and heavy economic costs associated with workplace injuries, and is offering
solutions for making our work environments safer and healthier.
Every year, tens of thousands of Canadians are injured on the job.
Statistics from the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada show
that almost 1 million (995,891) claims were reported to WCBs and Commissions
in 2006. Of those, about a third (329,357) resulted in lost time at work
claims. Lost time claims involve a wide range of injuries, disorders, and
diseases including a significant number of back injuries (87,091). Repetitive
strain injuries (RSI) are also a growing occupational safety hazard in Canada
due to Canadians' increased use of computers and hand held digital devices.
The Canadian Physiotherapy Association reminds Canadians during Healthy
Workplace Month that no one is immune to injury at work. However there are
many simple steps Canadians can take that will help reduce the risk of being
injured in the workplace. For example, to avoid work-related repetitive
strains or back and neck injuries, look for easy ways you can change your work
habits and work environment to have a positive impact on your health and well
Physiotherapists recommend the following tips to help prevent injury at
work and address work-related pain before it worsens and becomes chronic:
- Maintain correct posture while working and be sure to take frequent
breaks, change your position often and keep work items that you use
most frequently within easy reach to reduce stress on your neck,
back, and limbs.
- If your work involves heavy activity, warm up before you start work,
break up activity by doing simple stretches throughout the day, and
use equipment such as a mechanical lift or a dolly to help reduce the
amount of force required to transport or lift heavy items.
- Visit the CPA website (www.physiotherapy.ca) and the Canadian Centre
for Occupational Health and Safety website (www.ccohs.ca/) for tips
on avoiding injury at work.
If simple modifications to your work space and habits don't solve the
problem, consult a physiotherapist who can provide specific advice on body
mechanics, strengthening exercises, posture and workplace equipment
adaptations that are tailored to your particular work situation. Also,
consider having an ergonomic assessment of your work environment done. If
there is a risk management team at your workplace, ask for a review and be
ready to make changes to your work area. Chances are, it will increase your
productivity and decrease your risk of lost time and wages due to injury.
Studies show that early access to physiotherapy treatment translates to
reduced treatment times and decreased costs to the healthcare system,
employees, employers, and insurance companies. CPA joins the Canadian Centre
for Occupational Health and Safety in urging working Canadians to address
occupational safety proactively. CPA also advises working adults to address
strains, pains and physical health problems on the job early on so that
something can be done to change the work process and help avoid serious
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