Understanding injuries as a multidimensional experience.
What can we learn and do?
When we break down the experiences of workplace injuries, we discover multiple factors that influence recovery and return to work. Some variables fall outside of a person’s injury status, and if addressed, this can make a big difference. Here are a few things to consider.
Briefly, we describe pain as a multidimensional experience that focuses on physical and non-physical distress and the sensory system. Suffering is slightly different in that it is largely centred around one’s internal dialogue and ability to cope. Pain and suffering share a similarity in that the experience of one or both can be influenced by a perceived threat.
The overall culture of a workplace can be described as the ‘personality and feel’ shown through behaviours, interactions and beliefs. For example, a workplace that offers a supporting and trusting environment can alter a worker’s experience of pain and suffering.
Not to be confused with the above, it is the shared collection of beliefs, values, perception and attitude towards risk that define’s a workplace’s safety culture. Prioritising safety management by adopting a shared proactive and preventative approach can significantly influence behaviours and worker engagement, having a positive affect on the rates of incidents and injury.
Definition: Factors relating to the interrelationship between social factors as well as individual thought and behaviour.
Understanding psychosocial variables helps us discover how the recovery of one injured worker may differ to another with a like-injury. An individual’s psychological traits, behaviours and reactions are unique and largely influenced by past experiences and current life context. Data has shown us that we can help cases of return to work by considering these factors.
Supported by many years of experience, data analysis and research, WHA are educating and assisting workplaces to look beyond the physicality of an injury.
1. PRODUCTIVE COMMUNICATION
Neutralise negative expectations, and avoid creating new ones.
Use positive suggestions.
Offer reassurance and comfort.
2. CULTURE OF SUPORT
Set a tone of receptiveness to injury reporting.
Good faith is usually rewarded with good faith.
Train supervisors to listen and offer support to show care.
3. RETURN TO WORK PROCESS
A well defined Injury Triage and Management process.
Task modification to suit worker’s capability.
Open communication with your healthcare provider – clear communication regarding the inherent requirements of the worker’s role and a plan for alternative duties (if possible).
Appropriate outcome assessments.
As a WHA Onsite Healthcare Provider you can enjoy:
– A competitive salary
– Laptop, Phone & Work Vehicle
– A generous training allowance
– Access to a full time training manager to coach you in your professional development
We welcome applications from Chiropractors, Physiotherapists and Osteopaths, unless otherwise specified in the job description.