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MSD prevention - how do I get started?

Musculoskeletal Disorders Symposium 2017

Tammy Roberts

Presented by: Tammy Roberts and Alison Morris (Workplace Health and Safety Queensland)

Run time: 43:12

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Presentation 1: MSD prevention - how do I get started?

Presented by: Tammy Roberts and Alison Morris

[Start of transcript]

Jane Stevens:

Thanks everyone for joining us this morning. We might get started as soon as the last few people walk through.

My name is Jane Stevens and I'm an Industry Manager with WorkCover Queensland. Today I'll be introducing the speakers for this stream which is Stream One – Back to Basics.

Our first presentation today will be presented by Tammy Roberts and Alison Morris from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. Following their presentation we'll have a few minutes for questions before those who want to leave the room to attend one of the other streams for the second workshop can leave and we welcome those that want to join us for the next speaker which is Gary Dennis.

Tammy Roberts is currently a Principal Advisor of Ergonomics with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. She has worked across a range of industries as a Work Health and Safety Inspector, Advisor, Project Manager and a Senior Research Assistant. Tammy's role involves building business capability to prevent and manage musculoskeletal disorders and ergonomic related risks.

Alison also works for Workplace Health and Safety Queensland as a Principal Advisor for Ergonomics. She has also worked as a Senior Advisor within the Workplace Health and Safety Injury Prevention and Management also known as IPaM program. In this role she assisted businesses to improve their workplace health and safety systems, and prevent and manage injuries including musculoskeletal disorders.

Today Tammy and Alison will be taking us back to basics with MSD prevention. They'll be sharing with you some foundation theory and some practical approaches to get on the front foot when addressing MSD's. Tammy will start the session with the theory and will paint a picture of what factors and sources of risk are at play with MSD disorders. Alison will finish off the session with a practical case example of the approach taken by employers engaged in the IPaM program.

Please help me welcome Tammy and Alison.

(Applause)

Tammy Roberts:

I'll just wait 'til the few extras come in.

Wonderful.

Thanks very much Jane. Thanks very much for introducing us, and introducing our session this morning and I guess setting the scene for the next 40-45 minutes that Alison and I will share with you this morning to take you through I guess exactly what it suggests there, a back to basics approach to looking at musculoskeletal disorders. So I really do appreciate the attendance numbers. I thought when I saw the streams available I thought, 'I don't think we're going to get too many people coming to our session because there's some really interesting stuff out there,' but I really do appreciate you coming along and hopefully there will be some take home messages for you.

So as Jane said I'm going to start this morning's session and I'm going to be talking about I guess the theory, what we already know about musculoskeletal disorders in terms of workplace factors, what are the known sources, where do we actually look and also just present for you a bit of a bigger picture as well as to what some of the emerging research is suggesting that are also contributing to musculoskeletal disorders. I'm sure from Dr Chosewood's presentation this morning, there'll be no surprises that we're talking about issues relating to psychosocial risks and issues related to chronic disease in the main.

So that's I guess where we're going to take you this morning.

So this first slide I guess probably just covers off on a lot of what I just said. So I'm going to be talking about what musculoskeletal disorders are, make sure we're all on the same page that we know, the types of injuries that we're dealing with. I'm going to talk about the case for why we should be looking at it. Clearly we're having days like this where we're focusing specifically on musculoskeletal disorders. So it's really important for us to understand why that is, what the research is saying, what the claims data is saying. We've already touched on it a little bit this morning with the two sessions you've heard already but to really paint that picture of what's actually causing musculoskeletal disorders and why we need to focus on it.

I'll take you through an approach I guess that I'm sure if you work in the risk management space you'll be quite familiar with. So it's pulling out those important components to risk management and that's going – we'll talk about that I guess in theory and then you'll have the benefit of listening to Alison talking about how she's actually used that with employers she's worked with through one of our engagement programs in applying that risk management approach.

As I said I'll be touching on the bigger picture, so just not the physical factors, the usual suspects that we know do cause musculoskeletal disorders but what else is at play that we can recognise within our working environments and start to control and then Alison will be talking about her case study. We'll finish on some resources that you might find of benefit as well going back to your workplaces.

So in terms of musculoskeletal disorders what are we talking about? So we're talking about things like sprains and strains. We're talking about injuries or diseases to the musculoskeletal system including our nerves, our tendons, our muscles. Some of those that you might be familiar with might be slipped or ruptured discs. You might be familiar with the tendinitis terms. You might be familiar with torn ligaments, those sorts of things, also nerve compression. So all of these diseases or these injuries that you might see presented as claims in your own workplaces, that's really what we're talking about today, so sprains and strains and soft tissue type injury in the main.

What we do know is that they can occur suddenly and we do see occasions of that but in the main we do see a cumulative exposure to a number of these factors that do contribute to a musculoskeletal disorder presenting as an outcome.

As I said they're commonly known as sprains and strains.

So I'm not going to go on too much about the aetiology of musculoskeletal disorders, what are the disease processes. Thankfully Gary's session follows on from here and he's going to go into far greater detail I understand as to what is going on there. So please if you're interested stay on for that session but for now this is where we're going to keep it at, just so we have a shared understanding of what we're talking about with musculoskeletal disorders.

So as I said at the beginning we need to have this bit of an understanding of why we're focusing on musculoskeletal disorders. So nationally and state wide we have a target of reducing musculoskeletal disorders by 30 per cent. So that might sound quite ambitious when we start actually drilling down and looking at what the data says but that is what we're working towards by 2022 is focusing on reducing our musculoskeletal disorders by 30 per cent.

In Queensland more than half, about 60 per cent of the claims that we see coming through the workers' compensation system are musculoskeletal disorders. So they are a huge issue that we see businesses in Queensland facing.

We know when we start to look at the narratives, when we start to explore the mechanisms of injury that are contributing to musculoskeletal disorders through workers' compensation claims, hazardous manual tasks, physical tasks like lifting and carrying and awkward postures, repetitive tasks are very highly represented in the data that we see, as is slips, trips and falls. So they're the two main mechanisms that we do see coming through the data but as I'll touch on in a minute there is and as has already been talked about today, we've got this broad range of factors at play that we also need to take into consideration when we're looking at what is truly causing and contributing to musculoskeletal disorders.

What we also know is by targeting musculoskeletal disorders we can have improved productivity. We can have improved business benefits. So there's some cost benefits. We know that musculoskeletal disorders can become quite protracted in terms of the claim when we've got other comorbidities at play and it's a protracted recovery process for an injured individual. That's where they become hugely costly for businesses and I'm sure you've experienced that in your workplaces.

The other thing that we do see is the likelihood when musculoskeletal disorders aren't managed so well for them to convert and then re-present as a psychological claim as well. So it's really important to think about when we may not be just dealing with the primary issue. If we do that well that's great but if we don't there's that real opportunity that things do progress through and become quite a costly exercise for business.

As I said they can be complex. The evidence is telling us more and more all the time that we have other factors that are interrelated. So we have the known suspects that I'll touch on. I'll go to this slide first and I'll go back. So we have the usual suspects being those physical factors, the hazardous manual tasks, the slips, trips and falls, but we're learning more and more that we do have these other factors at play. Has anyone heard of the People at Work Project at all? Not many. A couple down the front. Thanks Lucy.

We've been involved in a research project that's looked at the psychological or the work-related stress factors that are at play within workplaces and one of the things that we were able to measure through that research project were musculoskeletal disorder outcomes. So I'll just highlight two points here. We learnt that job demands, so all of those things that Dr Chosewood was talking about this morning around production pressures and our low amount of control we have over our work and our low levels of support, or our time constraints we're working to, our long working hours, all of these things in the research that we did were quite positively associated with musculoskeletal disorder outcomes. We also learnt that when workers actually had more job resources it was negatively correlated with musculoskeletal disorders.

So there's a wide range of research sources out there that you could go and look at yourself. I just wanted to highlight that point from our own evidence base that we've gathered. We have seen those signs as well.

We've also got the chronic disease factors at play as well. There's those things that we may not be able to do too much about, being age and gender and our body stature and things like that, but there are those modifiable risk factors as well that we are learning more and more are related to musculoskeletal disorders, whether that's smoking and obesity are the two that seem to be most well researched at the moment. So we do need to be aware of that.

So I'll just go back to this slide to just reinforce the message as to why we should be focusing on musculoskeletal disorders. We do have legislation. The reality is we have legislation that says it's not nice to do, it's a must do in terms of looking at controlling musculoskeletal disorders. We have a regulation that pulls out relevant – I think from memory it's Section 60 of the regulation. That actually spells out quite clearly that a risk assessment process must be applied to looking at hazardous manual tasks.

We also have risk management that's inbuilt into all of the legislation that you know. We've got this theme of consultation and worker participation that very strongly is shown through the legislation as well. So these are all the things that we must do and it makes sense when we're looking at musculoskeletal disorders as well that we follow these processes.

So this line here is taken from the Hazardous Manual Tasks Code of Practice. Who's familiar with that document?

Yep, that's great. About half.

So this is a document, it is a piece of legislation. It's a subordinate piece of legislation to the Act and regs that actually gives us some prescriptive information about how do we actually go about applying risk management to hazardous manual tasks. The key things when it talks about the sources of risk for musculoskeletal disorders, it's talking about our work area design, our layout, our plant, our machinery, our access displays, talking about the nature and size of loads that are handled and also tools that are used. These are all of the areas when we're trying to look for, 'What are the core problems?', these are the sources that we go to.

When we start to think about these interactive factors being the psychosocial and the physical factors, when we start to explore the systems of work, we think about things like pace of work, the production pressures, the skill mix of my team and the resources I actually have within my team to do the job, are these things actually contributing to poor musculoskeletal outcomes as well?

Other things for us to consider are the working environment and simple examples there might be temperature, might be a floor surface that workers are working on, might be lighting. So this just provides for us I guess a bit of a snapshot of when we want to go looking for what's truly causing some of those risks within my workplace, we can go to these sources and you can find those in far greater detail in the Code of Practice as well.

So as I said earlier I was going to talk about risk management as well and the approach to looking at musculoskeletal disorders is that you take for any other hazard area that you're dealing with in your workplace can be applied to sprains and strains or let's just call them MSDs because I've said musculoskeletal disorders too many times already. So when we're looking at risk management processes it's that same process that we can apply here. So consulting and engaging with our workers is critical. Gathering information, as much information as we possibly can about our workforce and knowing our trends, knowing what our data tells us, doing those workplace observations, actually getting out there and observing people in their workplace, talking to your workers and finding out what's going on for them because trust me they are the ones that know where the problems are and often are the ones that know how to fix the problems as well. So getting them on board and getting their buy-in is really, really critically important.

Doing a risk assessment so you can actually calculate the level of risk and make sure whatever controls or solutions you put in place suit that level of risk. When we're talking about controlling risk, make sure we're targeting those sources of risks. We also need to bear in mind we have this ongoing review because as we know things can change. New hazards can be introduced. We need to make sure we're going back and revisiting those controls to make sure that they're still working. We may need to go back through that risk assessment process as well.

So for those that are familiar I guess with going back to identify your hazards, assess your risk and come up with controls, really what we've got there is step one, two and three, is doing your identifying your hazards. It's getting as much information as you possibly can about your workforce and your risks within your workforce, and then being able to do your risk assessment and then come up with the controls.

That's probably where I will leave the session this morning and I'll hand over to Alison. Alison is going to talk about how she's worked with employers in one of our engagement programs, the IPaM program and been able to apply that process, that risk management process for musculoskeletal disorders I've just talked about.

So I'll just hand over to Alison.

Alison Morris:

Okay. Good morning everyone.

As Tammy said my name is Alison Morris and I until a week ago was one of the senior advisors in the Injury Prevention and Management Program. I've just stepped into a different role for the next three months but what I'll go through today is a little bit about the program and the approach that we take to managing musculoskeletal disorders within organisations, and also just looking at other hazards and risks.

So what is the IPaM program? It's a joint program between Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and WorkCover Queensland. Since it started approximately about six years ago we've assisted over 1,000 Queensland employers in a variety of different organisations from large to small through to a lot of different industries from manufacturing, construction, healthcare and not for profit organisations as well.

So what do we actually do? We look at the hazards within an organisation, their safety and injury management systems, look at improving those and basically improving their ability to review their own systems and improve them moving into the future without our assistance.

We do targeted business improvement plans and we provide ongoing support for approximately 12 months through to even two years at some stages, it just depends on the company.

So what I thought I'd do here is revisit the slide Tammy had on risk management because this is what we actually do with a company. This is the approach we take as senior IPaM advisors. We do the risk management process with them. This process doesn't change. No matter what the organisation is, no matter which industry they're in, whether they're large or small, we don't change the risk management approach that we take with them.

What we do change is the tools that we actually use to step them through this process.

So myself and the approach that we take is for consultation and engagement, the first step. Normally that involves an initial meeting with the employer. So at this meeting we'll introduce the IPaM program and we'll also gather some data from them about what they believe their main problems are within their organisation. We'll also look at their WorkCover data and any sort of input they've had from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, whether that be through campaigns or inspector engagement and things like that.

We'll also get some more information on the demographics and things within their organisation as well and what they think their main problems and hazards are.

From here once the company actually wants to engage in the program we will then do what we call a 'hazards walkthrough'. So that's mainly like the workplace observation area. So we'll walk through with them the different workplace areas they have and speak to the workers as well as observe pretty much their work tasks and what the hazards are in those main areas. We then go on to have a look at their workplace systems to see if their system in place is actually robust enough to identify, assess and control those hazards.

From here we also do do another step where we actually either survey the workforce. So we do focus groups with the workforce and this gives us a really good indication of the safety climate within that organisation. So basically the personal responsibility the workers are taking for safety within that organisation and also the view that they have of what the organisation, the value that they place on safety as well.

So from here we use all this information to then set up a business improvement plan for them. This looks at the hazards that they have and how they can better manage their systems to actually control the risk within their organisations.

So from here what they do is they work autonomously on that business improvement plan, implementing those improvements but also they use a senior advisor like myself to provide them with any sort of expertise they need in terms of information or ideas on how to implement things within their organisations. This also forms part of the ongoing review process as well. So we review with them probably on a quarterly basis at least, as to how they're going with the business improvement plan but also moving into the future they should be reviewing their own systems as part of the continuous system improvement of workplace health and safety.

Okay. So the case study I'll go through with you today actually comes from a healthcare and social assistance area. So I thought I'd just drill down a little bit more into this area and how we've assisted businesses within this industry.

So to date we've assisted 126 employers in this industry and this may include things such as private hospitals, aged care facilities, community care and not for profit organisations. There is a very strong focus within this industry on musculoskeletal disorders because we find at least 50 per cent if not more of the injuries we see coming from this industry are MSDs.

So I've assisted many different sorts of employers within this healthcare industry but I thought it was best to do just a typical residential care facility that we see. So it's no one employer that we're looking at here. It's more of a typical snapshot of what we normally see when we're looking at these residential care facilities.

So when I initially met with this organisation the information we got from them was that they had approximately 100 residents. So these residents range from the independent living residents that only required some assistance with their meals and doing house cleaning, things like that, through to your high nursing care needs residents that need full 24-hour, seven day a week care. From there they had approximately 130 staff that looked after these residents and that included nursing staff, people from allied health, kitchen staff, cleaners, maintenance, laundry, administration staff. We find that the average age of a worker is around 52 and also that 90 per cent are normally females.

This organisation had a high number of workers' compensation claims, mostly musculoskeletal disorders of the shoulders, back and knees and they were increasing over the last 18 months. They also had an increased absenteeism in the previous 12 months. So a lot of the time when you do go out to an organisation they already know that they've got some problems in their areas of identifying and managing injuries and also risks and things.

Okay. So what we did with this organisation in particular was because they had actually done a really amazing step before I even got there. I thought it was fantastic. The Safety Manager had actually done a day in the life of activity with his people in the kitchen staff. So we actually found that the kitchen was the main area of concern within this residential facility. So what this Safety Manager did was he spent a day down with the kitchen staff. He shadowed them and saw what they did in their everyday tasks, and looked at the hazards and the way the work was organised.

From there once I became involved we refined it a little bit and we actually sat down with the workers to engage them further, mapped it all out on a whiteboard and made sure that what we actually thought had, or what he thought had gone on throughout the day and the work tasks and things was actually a good reflection of what they believed as well.

From there we got them to identify their three main highest concerns within their work and also the three main hazards that they felt. Then that gave us a good start to look at what hazards we needed to look at managing within the workplace.

So from here with these guys the approach I took – it doesn't really matter which way you do this but I always start with a hazards assessment first. So I always do a walkthrough and work with the workers first, get some information on what they do, have a look at the work tasks and have a look at the hazards involved. There's a variety of different tools you can use for this but I'll go through that in the next slide.

From there I normally look at the workplace health and safety systems and injury management system. So from there I look at how robust their systems are that they've got in place now, the gaps in those systems in terms of what they're missing in hazards and how they're not addressing what they've got at the workplace now, and set up the improvement plan from there.

For this organisation because they normally have really good systems in place already that are quite mature, because of all the other auditing and things they get from health boards and all that sort of stuff to get their accreditation and things, I actually used our systems assessment tool that we use which is strongly aligned to the Australian Standard 4801. Are people aware of the 4801 standard? Yep.

There are other tools you can use though because I understand that lots of organisations don't have a lot of systems and things in place. We actually do have a few different tools that you can use online. One of those is the Serious About Small Safe Business Pack and also the online Safety Benchmarking Tool. So you can actually go on, put in details about your organisation and it gives you good feedback about where your systems are sitting at and areas that you might want to look at for improvement.

So next what we did with these guys is we used that focus group in the kitchen with the staff to engage them and also get some further information from them. But what we normally do within these facilities and other employers as well is really look at doing either a climate survey with the staff or getting them together and doing focus groups, and really getting some information on how they feel safety is dealt with within their organisation. It gives you great information on the nature of what happens on the floor and things in terms of safety and the personal responsibility people within that organisation are taking for safety, but it also gives you a great snapshot of what the employer, the value that the employer takes on safety as well.

Okay. So these are some of the risk assessment tools that you can use. So with this organisation we used the Hazardous Manual Task Risk Assessment Tool which I've got a tick against there, but there are other tools available. As you can see on the slide to your upper, your top left there are eTools available on our website. There's also the People at Work Survey which Tammy had spoken about previously and this looks a lot more at like the psychosocial elements of work and how they impact on work. Then there's also the Work Health Planning Guide. So this is really good to use when you're looking at chronic disease risk factors and how you can manage those and plan for managing those within your organisations.

Okay. So the main sources of risk we found within this organisation are reaching and bending. Sorry, so I split these into three different categories and this actually comes out of the Principles of Good Work Design handbook. So we've split them up into three different categories that they use. So it's 'work and systems of work', 'physical work environment' and 'the worker'.

So under 'work and systems of work' we had things like reaching and bending, handling bulk product and kitchen equipment, the repetitive tasks. So mainly your usual sort of suspects that you see within MSDs.

The other thing we found was some of the positions within the kitchen they felt that they were really isolated and had limited social contact, particularly your person who was doing a lot of washing of dishes and just setting up dining, all the plates and cutlery and everything on all the trays. They really didn't have a lot of contact with anyone and they were feeling quite isolated. They had limited task rotation. So whatever your job normally was within that kitchen it was always that job within the kitchen. No one really changed around very much.

The other thing we found and we often find is unpredictable resident behaviour. So this relates to things like when you are in the high care needs areas and things and you're delivering meals, sometimes people are having a bad day because they may be sick or have different things. So there can be a lot of difference in a behaviour of a resident between one day to the next and some of the kitchen staff were saying when they were delivering meals they found that quite difficult. So that was one thing that I identified. Also poor maintenance. So some of their trolleys and things that they were pushing with all the meals on them were pulling to the left or pulling to the right, or the wheel just wasn't locking properly when they were trying to transfer things.

The physical work environment. Things such as access paths. So I find this in I think every residential care facility I go too. There is a million wheelchairs, people handling equipment or whatever out in the hallways which makes it really difficult for anyone with anything to do with the kitchen to wheel the trolleys and things around. Floor surfaces. So it's a change in floor surfaces from carpet to lino, things like that, but also the lino often in a lot of them is broken and not intact. So looking at that sort of stuff as well.

The storage racking, they weren't using it probably to the best that they could. Bench heights and also the temperature. So in the kitchen it was very, very hot in summer. So it was about just feeling quite hot in summer.

So your worker. The main risk we found there are your health risk factors such as your aging workforce. So the average age being 52. Smoking. So there was a percentage of smokers still within the workforce. The fitness levels and stress. So this was broken down into work-related stress but also we found financial stress also quite commonly comes up when you do surveys with them. That was more around coming into retirement and how could they afford retirement and things like that.

So that was the main risks, but now when you look at how do you actually control these risks. So I'm sure you're all more than aware of the hierarchy of controls, but I thought I'd revisit it here just to reiterate a few things. Often when we look at musculoskeletal disorders we do find that organisations spend and focus a lot on level three controls, so your administrative controls and things such as training. Although they do have some good morale-boosting benefits and things within an organisation it doesn't get to the source of risk. So we really want people to start looking at the source of risk when it comes to musculoskeletal disorders and start looking at level one and level two controls to eliminate and really identify those sources of risks.

The other thing I also wanted to say here is that it's really important to get your workforce involved in identifying and implementing the controls for your hazards and risks within the organisation. I cannot stress enough that if you just put a control in place without asking anyone and just say, 'This is what we're doing from tomorrow,' you won't get much buy in. Whereas when I've seen time and time again when you actually involve the workforce in it they take a lot more responsibility. You see a lot more compliance with your new policies and procedures and things.

That's the hierarchy of controls.

So we move on to…

So what we did with choosing controls for this organisation, we did a bit of a mix and I've essentially put them into the same order and same categories as what we had the risks to begin with. So it's work and systems of work, physical work environment and worker.

So the work and the systems of work, we looked at things like systems controls. So KPIs for managers around keeping hallways clear and actually storing equipment where it's meant to be stored and also communication and consultation. So looking at actually providing information to other staff within the organisation such as those in the kitchen about what's happening with residents on that day and maybe looking at alternative means of reducing the stress even placed on those residents as well and getting one person only, like the nursing assistant or something to provide them with all that care on that day including giving them their meals. Then we looked at work organisational factors such as task rotation and increased social contact for some of the people within the kitchen staff.

We also looked at training. So training for them just in basic things like residents and what to expect from their behaviour and things if there is changes in their behaviour throughout the time that they're there.

So the physical work environment we looked at the work area design. So improved use of their racking and things for bulky items. So just making sure that back to basics, that you've got things that are heavy between your knee and your shoulder height and actually utilising your racking to its most effective. Then ventilation and fans. So they looked at improving the ventilation within the kitchen area so that during the summer months it wasn't quite as hot and also just getting some bigger fans and things as well.

They did have some adjustable height trolleys but they did get some better fitting ones that were more fit to the task they were doing and things. Repairs to a damaged floor surface and also just some different equipment.

Then the worker. For the health of the workers and things they looked at improved kitchen facilities. So actually providing them with equipment within their kitchen that they could actually make their own meals and actually have healthier food rather than just a microwave and that was pretty much it.

A smoke free workplace policy and a quit smoking support program. Also incentive programs and an EAP program which a lot of them already have.

The other thing that we found was a superannuation and financial planning session. So they engage the superannuation fund that they actually utilise to come and do some free sessions around that sort of retirement and how that impacts your income and all that sort of stuff as well.

So yeah, that's probably all I've got to say on the case study but the next slide does have all the resources that we think you might find useful.

I suppose it's throwing over – I'll hand back to yeah, Jane from WorkCover.

Jane Stevens:

Thanks Alison and Tammy. For those that are new to health and safety I'm sure you've got some great tools and resources that you can go back and review. For those that are in that space already the case study really illustrates what a difference it can make in looking at some of those controls and designs.

We have some time for some questions. I think we'll do the old fashioned way, hands in the air. Do we have a mic at the back? Yeah, we do. So if you've got any questions please put your hand up and Tammy and Alison will love to answer them.

One over here.

Audience member:

Hi. Can businesses opt into the program or are they identified and approached?

Alison Morris:

There's a few different ways. You can definitely opt into the program but you are to a certain extent chosen. There is a page on our website that you can fill in your information and things and go through that way. Another good way is to speak to your WorkCover advisor because a lot of the businesses we engage with, it normally comes from WorkCover data. Then there's also obviously if you have an inspector that you know that regular helps out with things you can go through them as well. Or you could even ring the Work Safe number or hotline as well.

Obviously if you show interest you may be on the program. I can't guarantee just because it is busy but definitely yeah, flag your interest if you're interested and we'll definitely look at whether you can be included.

We thought we might put up this slide as well because it just gives some information about the IPaM program and what it's achieved within the '15 and '16 financial year. So this is only when we had about 900 employers gone through the program. So we've had a few more to date but this is from the last financial year.

So as you can see it does make a big difference to organisations to improve their safety and injury management systems.

Is there anything else you wanted to add?

Tammy Roberts:

I might just add in there too even though the case example that Alison has spoken about today clearly shows how our senior advisors work with employers to implement this, the tools that the guys use are all freely available on our website as well. So even if you weren't on IPaM you can certainly try and replicate that program in your own workplaces and getting the support through any regional contacts that you might have.

So as Alison said we can't say that everyone can come into the program. There's certainly ways where you can express interest to come onto the program. There is a screening process but if you're not on the program you can certainly replicate this same process we've talked through today in your own workplaces.

Jane Stevens:

We've got time for a few more questions. Well I've got one of my own.

Tammy Roberts:

Okay.

Jane Stevens:

Tammy you spoke about musculoskeletal disorders and how business can start looking at that. What three things would you suggest that they start with to engage in that process?

Tammy Roberts:

Okay. I guess the top things would be I guess knowing your workforce and knowing your business, knowing where your risks are and we can do that I guess through those mechanisms that we talked through before about identifying, having a look at your claims data, having a look at your internal hazard reporting, your incident reports that are coming through, trying to identify the trends. I think and I'll just touch on with the IPaM program, through that program one of the biggest benefits that we see employers be able to do is be a lot more better informed about their workplaces. That's generally through their hazard reporting and the systems that they establish through that program so that they know where to go next. So that would certainly be one of them.

Talk and engage with your workforce. I cannot send that message strongly enough. There is so much evidence around the benefits of engaging and communicating, consulting and getting your workers involved with coming up with the solution. So definitely do that.

The other thing I guess would be if you're having challenges with managers and your leadership of your business actually getting the buy-in, use some of our return on investment calculators. There's a lot of resources there to put a business case together and show how if we're investing X amount of dollars we do get this benefit on the longer term. So they'd probably be the top three for me.

Al, I don't know if there's anything else you want to add to that?

Alison Morris:

No, I think you've done – I think you've done alright Tammy.

Jane Stevens:

Thanks Tammy, thanks Alison.

That concludes our session. If you do have another question please feel free to put it through on Zeetings. We'll collate them all at the end.

So the next session in this room is Gary Dennis, Anatomy of an MSD. So feel free to stay. Otherwise feel free to attend one of the other streams in the other rooms.

Thank you everybody.

[End of transcript]