Dr Mary Wyatt | Job design includes the physical layout, AND how jobs fit the person's psyche. Deadlines, flexible work practices, control, and workplace culture need to be addressed to prevent and manage physical and mental health problems.
In this video presentation ergonomic psychosocial issues are discussed. We look at the impact in prevention and return to work. The structure of the job and how people perceive the job influences their mental AND physical state and also their approach. If you are unable to see the video below your systems administrator may have blocked access. Ask them about how you can view the video, or watch from another location such as home. more >>
Dr Mary Wyatt | This webinar presentation with PIEF discusses the impact of training supervisors on return to work outcomes.
Line managers / line managers play an integral role in return to work. Yet even in well managed organisations they can struggle to deal with return to work. International research has looked at training supervisors in return to work management. When supervises are trained there are less claims, better outcomes, and supervisors are more satisfied with their role. In this webinar we explore supervisor training needs, and how even a brief training intervention can make a material difference. more >>
Mary Harris | Genius, they say, is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration. This case study looks at how four people's creativity and perseverance allows for a return to heavy physical work.
In the spring of the year in 2008, on a cold and dreary day, a freezing rain fell to coat everything it touched. Dan had just parked his CDL class truck and was stepping down to move on to his next task. What Dan didn’t know was that the next task would be a trip to the emergency room. When exiting the truck, Dan fell down and landed on his knee, causing a tear that eventually lead to a surgical repair. more >>
Dr Mary Wyatt | Ergonomic keyboards can help reduce the effects of recurrent arm pain in office workers.
Arm problems are commonly associated with the use of a computer. It is generally accepted among occupational therapists that having a good ergonomic setup is needed to prevent and manage pain. This Canadian study sought to assess whether an ergonomic keyboard made a difference for employees with long term arm pain or work-related upper extremity disorders. 30 patients were given ergonomic keyboards and used them for approximately three years. more >>
Robert Aurbach | "Correlation" is not the same thing as causation.
There are many systems for "flagging" people at risk. The intent is to identify people who are predicted to have poor outcomes so that additional resources can be channelled to them, improving the probability of an injured worker's return to life. The intent is good, but, with a few notable exceptions, these flagging systems carry with them dangers that may undo the intended good. Flagging systems are based on statistical observations about things happening in the injured person's life and their recovery outcomes. more >>
Activated through permanent stress, immune cells will have a damaging effect on and cause changes to the brain. This may result in mental disorders. A German research team focused mainly on a certain type of phagocytes, namely microglia. Under normal circumstances, they repair synapses between nerves cells in the brain and stimulate their growth. Once activated, however, microglia may damage nerve cells and trigger inflammation processes. The studies have shown that the more frequently microglia get triggered due to stress, the more they are inclined to remain in the destructive mode – a risk factor for mental diseases such as schizophrenia.
A new study finds that having job authority increases symptoms of depression among women, but decreases them among men. “Women with job authority — the ability to hire, fire, and influence pay — have significantly more symptoms of depression than women without this power,” said authors. “In contrast, men with job authority have fewer symptoms of depression than men without such power.” Years of social science research suggests that women in authority positions deal with interpersonal tension, negative social interactions, negative stereotypes, prejudice, social isolation, as well as resistance from subordinates, colleagues, and superiors.
Obese workers miss more work days, and those absences carry high costs at the state and national level, according to a study in the November Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. “Obesity-attributable absenteeism among American workers costs the nation an estimated $8.65 billion per year,” report the authors. The results showed that obese workers missed significantly more work days: an average of 1.1 to 1.7 additional absences per year, compared to normal-weight workers. There was no increase in absences for workers who were overweight but not obese.
A major new UK research centre to tackle the impact of musculoskeletal disorders on people’s ability to work has been announced. “We’re planning a number of specific research projects that could have important impacts on policy and on the management of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace.” These include: Investigating whether a social media and internet campaign to spread positive messages about how best to manage back pain, can improve outcomes for patients; and working with GPs and employers to improve the effectiveness of the new GP ‘fit note’ which has replaced the sick note.
Researchers from the Australian National University's Research School of Chemistry have made a large amount of a strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug. Currently, the molecule is only found in minuscule quantities in a rare coral found off the Bahamas. "What we've done is made around 1000 times the quantity that's accessible from the sea whip without even really trying," said researchers. "We've invented a process called a domino chemical reaction. Normally you do a chemical reaction and you'll form one new chemical bond at a time...It's an extremely efficient way to form lots of bonds in a short space of time and with the minimum impact upon the environment and the maximum benefit."