Being Proactive about Health

Posted by Richard Warren on Jun 30, 2021 10:48:00 AM
Richard Warren

At Intuto we are lucky to be able to work with some wonderful companies that are doing amazing things. One of the companies we work with in the health space is Provention. Provention are doing all they can to minimise the impact of injuries caused by incorrect movement techniques. We know that these sorts of injuries can have long lasting health impacts on individuals, their families and the communities they live in so must be taken incredibly seriously. 

Sometimes the simple solutions work better than expected

While efforts to reduce the health impacts of incorrect movement injuries are being made in many, if not all industries, our experience is usually that the benefits of such efforts are often unrecorded. This can lead to employee complacency who, even if they are feeling better overall, may see safe movement programmes as "box ticking" by employers. Nothing can be further from the truth and so it was wonderful to see some of the benefits of safe movement training measured and reported in a recent study. And indeed, the results are remarkable. 

The study was conducted within a forestry harvesting and transport company and was focused on operators of the machinery with 80% of the subjects either working in control cabs or sitting in harvesting machines (i.e. sitting for the majority of the day with movements typical of those expected by drivers of trucks). It was a pilot programme that looked at improving physical wellbeing, reducing injury, improving morale, reducing time-lost costs, and ideally seeing subsequent increases in productivity. The stakeholders in the study included the manager of Provention, the company GM of OHS, an external OHS specialist with some early stage study set up review by a relevant faculty member of a local University.

Without going into detail (which can be provided by contacting Provention whose contact details are at the end of this note), it would seem that as a result of sustained staff engagement over 6 weeks, there were significant gains in the core measure of "comfort" as shown in the following chart which summarises the results from the overall programme across the 6 weeks.

 

Comfort gains

How the users responded

In terms of 'personal' feedback, some of the comments from users make especially pleasing reading. viz: 

  • My comfort/pain levels have improved immensely since the beginning of this survey.  I used to be worried doubt how my body would feel after certain tasks and now with the use of the First Move principles I have the tools and knowledge of how to perform tasks that my body appreciates
  • Stretching exercises are great for relief.  Making sure your work chair is set up to suit you while operating is a must as we sit for long periods 

The stakeholders in the project are confident that these extremely positive outcomes are the result of clearly defined goals supported by ongoing communication, face to face engagement with employees and managers and excellent support tools such as in cab QR codes to help continuous reinforcement of the messages about proper movement in and around truck/other machinery cabs. 

And the good news is that the benefits that this organisation achieved were not the result of expensive, complicated educational programmes. They followed a set of rules. 

Keep it 'simple', 'focused' and 'followed up'.  

And these rules can just as easily be applied to any health sector training whether face to face or totally online. 

If you'd like the full details of the study that is mentioned above, please contact Alison Richmond of Provention. alison@provention.co.nz. As one of Provention's training partners, we'd be happy to introduce you and discuss the benefits of Intuto, an easy to use online training platform that is becoming increasingly popular across the Australasian health sector. 

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Topics: employee training, Health and Safety, Safety Culture, Healthcare