Workplace health and wellness initiatives are great at promoting positive, healthy environments for staff and customers/clients. However, if an injury or illness does occur, we are fortunate in this country to be able to turn to our health sector to help make us well again.

What might come as a surprise to you is that the people who wake up each day ready to help heal and care for others aren’t always considering their own health and wellbeing! In fact, the statistics of Serious Claims for Disease and Injury shows that Healthcare and Social Assistance ranks the top industry for claims!

We felt it was important to shine a spotlight on the health sector, to thank them for the work they do for us, and to also encourage them to make their own health and happiness an equal priority.

Workplace Central believes all workplaces should be safe and happy environments to foster enthusiasm, creativity and passion for the work. Studies show that happy and healthy workplaces are more productive and retain employees… who wouldn’t want to work in a place that values employees and their mental, physical and emotional health.

This definitely includes the Health sector and we want to help those that care for us to care for themselves too. They already do a fantastic job and we can imagine this would only continue if they took time out each day for a little self care.

To set the scene for the health and wellbeing of the Health sector, here are some key findings on the professions most at risk of injury, incident or illness:

  • Workers in aged care have a higher than average chance of being seriously injured at work. (More than 64% of these injuries are caused by hazardous manual handling and slips, trips and falls.)
  • The six most common hazardous tasks that cause injury in Community Support Services are; moving and lifting objects; using office areas; transporting people and equipment in vehicles; slips and falls; occupational violence; and working alone.
  • The six most common hazardous tasks that cause injury in the Disability services sector are; moving and supporting people with a disability; supporting people with personal hygiene care; assisting people in wheelchairs; handling wheelchairs in and out of vehicles; occupational violence; and moving and lifting objects.
  • These seven hazardous tasks are the most common causes of injury in the home care sector; vacuuming with an awkward posture or moving furniture; mopping repetitive movement and awkward posture; bathing clients; moving clients; cleaning bathrooms; making beds; use of vehicle.
  • Many claims are due to body stressing, often from manual handling.
  • In the hospitals and allied health sub sectors, employees are at risk of; stress; bullying; occupational violence and aggressions; slips, trips and falls

If you work in the Health sector or you know someone who does, be aware of these common issues and risks and encourage everyone to take time out for self care to reduce the risk of injury or illness and make the workplace a more positive and safe place to be in each day.

Take a look at our free resources that provide suggestions on how to promote positive, safe and healthy workplaces with stretches, nutrition, safety guides and more.

Plus, here are some Health Industry-specific tips to keep in mind to keep yourself safe at work:

  • Be extra careful when lifting
  • Work in pairs
  • Do regular maintenance checks on your tools and equipment
  • Report all hazards immediately
  • Practice caution with needle and medication handling
  • Use protective equipment
  • Be aware of the risk of physical assault