Trips, falls and getting older. How can employers manage this risk?
Most of the time the only injury is to your pride, give or take a scraped knee – but for an increasing number of women, a fall like this results in a distal radius fracture (commonly known as a broken wrist). One of the most common fractures worldwide, the incidence of distal radius fracture is increasing in females aged over 50 years.
The number of tumbles taken is also on the rise: recent Australian research by Dr Win Wah and colleagues at Monash University points to an increase in same-level falls in ageing women.
Looking at the two facts together, the suggestion could be made that smart employers examine their strategies for preventing falls and managing recovery effectively.
We asked Dr Sid O’Toole, Occupational and Environmental Physician, at Phoenix Occupational Medicine about the relationship between ageing and falls.
“As people age, they actually lose muscle mass and strength. Doctors call it a fancy term – sarcopenia,” explains Dr O’Toole.
“If you then add working in a sedentary role or having a chronic health condition to ageing, this effect is multiplied.”
So, what can employers offer their employees to assist in managing individual risk factors?
Matt Worland, Accredited Exercise Physiologist and QLD/VIC State Manager at Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation (and one of seven expert speakers at the Early Intervention Done Right Symposium!) is passionate about the role exercise plays in improving modifiable risk factors for employees.
“While businesses need to address workplace factors that cause injuries, there’s also real benefit in embracing initiatives that identify and empower employees to take steps to improve strength and fitness,” says Matt.
“I look forward to sharing what can be done to address modifiable risk factors with exercise. Excitingly, Amanda Smith, Accredited Practicing Dietician and Sports Dietitian from Verde Nutrition Co, will be co-presenting the latest information on the role of diet in developing a healthier and more durable workforce.”
Book your tickets for Early Intervention Done Right: Stopping the Errors of the Past – at EventBrite. This inaugural one day symposium is being held on Thursday 21 March, 2024, at the Tattersalls Grand Ballroom, 215 Queen Street, Brisbane.*
*Please note Tattersalls' dress code will apply.
(1) Epidemiology of work-related fall injuries resulting in hospitalisation: individual and work risk factors and severity. Win Wah,Janneke Berecki-Gisolf, Karen Walker-Bone