SuperDoc | If we can train good superheros (ahem - take yours truly for example) then surely we can train good supervisors.
You'd be forgiven for thinking 'What the flamin' heck would a self-employed superhero know about the quality of managers?' But fiercely independent and super-in charge is not how superheros start out in life; in fact we undertake many years of training before we venture out on our own. Plus, round the traps, I listen to what people have to say. I've heard it said - and I’ll second the notion - that people don’t leave their job, they leave their manager. more >>
Anna Kelsey-Sugg | Who has control over organising modified duties in your workplace - and what are the pros and cons of having them in charge?
Q: How often does the employee modify their own duties? A: The employee commonly modifies the way they do their duties in response to a problem. The graph below from Dr Bill Shaw (Liberty Mutual) outlines an employee’s typical response to a muscular problem. Adjusting the way they do their job is an early and typical response. Here are some examples of how employees modify the way they do their job: Talking to co-workers, who help out and do the parts of the job that are difficult for the employee with the problem Stopping to have a short stretching break Finding a stool to sit on or a trolley to lift something Rearranging where files or other instruments are stored to reduce reaching When employees take control over their own modified duties the approach is often a simple and common sense one, and is easy to implement in all industries. more >>
Gabrielle Lis | Tips for supervisors who have their doubts about a worker's injury or compensation claim.
Rhinestones, bulging lycra and chest hair aside, Elvis had some insights. In the realm of RTW and workers’ comp, supervisors with suspicious minds can do a lot of damage, even if their suspicious are justified. When a worker’s injury or illness sets a supervisor’s internal suspicion-sirens blaring, the best approach is for them to take a deep breath and remember two key things: Regardless of reservations they might harbour about the legitimacy of the claim, it is the supervisor’s role to provide the injured worker with sympathy and support. more >>
Joy Hewitt | What do supervisors think about multidisciplinary vocational rehabilitation programs?
Take Home Messages: Supervisors are a key workplace group that deal with return to work. The following vocational rehabilitation approaches were well received by supervisors; Employee centred; Solution oriented; Involving team members; Simplify the process; and Support supervisors with professional back up. Why the research matters: Many studies have reported the success of employer-provided vocational rehabilitation programs in returning ill or injured employees to work. more >>
Business Insider reports on a number of studies suggesting that open offices make workers distracted, exhausted and insecure. "Psychological privacy...leads to higher performance and satisfaction." If workers don't have "architectural privacy", they won't have "psychological privacy", leading to distraction by background noise that "disrupts concentration, impairs memory, and aggravates stress-related illness like migraines or ulcers." The open office is also intended to facilitate "spontaneous collaboration," but Business Insider reports a study showing this can lead to exhaustion and worse outcomes. Stockholm University researchers also found that "people who work in open offices were more likely to take sick leave than folks who worked in private offices, since working so close to your colleague may increase the spread of infection."
Heart patients with beliefs about health that aren’t based on medical evidence are more likely to skip sessions of cardiac rehabilitation, new research suggests. In the Ohio State University study, a higher number of these beliefs – referred to as “irrational health beliefs” on a standard measure of these thoughts – was associated with lower adherence to a prescribed cardiac rehab program. Among the irrational beliefs assessed: Doubting the preventive power of the flu vaccine or believing, based on family history alone, that it’s safe to smoke cigarettes and carry excess weight after a doctor’s warning about health risks linked to these behaviours. “Most patients referred to cardiac rehab have been sedentary. Though they are in a supportive environment, exercise is still not necessarily pleasant and can be painful from time to time. So it’s important to examine factors that might negatively influence them and then intervene to address those factors – in this case, their irrational health beliefs.”
Understanding why pain persists despite structurally successful spinal surgery is a question that has long puzzled physicians. In a study that melds the interrelated domains of spinal surgery and pain medicine, researchers have discovered that in the transition from acute inflammatory pain to chronic neuropathic pain, neurons undergo molecular changes. “It is extremely novel to learn that an autoimmune neuroinflammatory radiculopathy that we clinically manage in most patients as being self-limited has the potential to cause permanent structural changes to neurons and functional sensitivity in the pain experience," said Mohammed Farid Shamji, MD, PhD, FAANS. “If we can minimise the disability caused by this pain syndrome, we may be able to prevent it from occurring upon onset of the acute inflammatory pain, potentially even reversing it once established.”
A meta-analysis of studies that investigated measures designed to improve health professionals’ interactions with patients confirms that such efforts can produce health effects just as beneficial as taking a daily aspirin to prevent heart attack. While it has long been believed that a good patient-clinician relationship can improve health outcomes, objective evidence to support that belief has been hard to come by. “Although the effect we found was small, this is the first analysis of the combined results of previous studies to show that relationship factors really do make a difference in patients’ health outcomes,” says Helen Riess, MD, director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program in the MGH Department of Psychiatry, senior author of the report in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.
Optimistic older adults who see the glass as half full appear to have a reduced risk of developing heart failure. Researchers from the University of Michigan and Harvard University found that optimism—an expectation that good things will happen—among people age 50 and older significantly reduced their risk of heart failure. Compared to the least optimistic people in the study, the most optimistic people had a 73-percent reduced risk of heart failure over the follow-up period. The researchers said that the protective effect of optimism might be explained by previous research, which has shown that optimism is associated with important health behaviours (eating healthier diets, exercising more, managing stress), enhanced physiological functioning and other positive health outcomes that are strongly linked with a decreased risk of heart failure.
The chairman of the WorkCover WA Board, Greg Joyce, has announced a 6.7 per cent decrease in the recommended premium rates for workers' compensation in Western Australia for the 2014/15 year, Workplace OHS reports. Mr Joyce said the average recommended premium rate would fall to 1.556 per cent of total wages for 2014/15, compared with 1.668 per cent of total wages for 2013/14. The changes were prompted by advice from independent actuary PricewaterhouseCoopers, based on claims experience data from insurers, as well as other factors including changes in interest rates and wages.