WorkSpace Week prioritises workers most at risk of spinal injury

Wednesday, 20 September, 2023

WorkSpace Week prioritises workers most at risk of spinal injury

WorkSpace Week (2–8 October) is the annual national campaign to help prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) to improve spinal health for Australians. Conducted by the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA), WorkSpace Week (the first week of National Safe Work Month) aims to minimise disorders that are currently having a severe impact on the spinal health and wellbeing of workers.

According to the World Health Organization, musculoskeletal disorders account for the greatest proportion of persistent pain conditions and are the second largest contributor to disability worldwide, with low back pain being the single leading cause of disability, globally.

WorkSpace Week informs Australians about the importance of prevention and early intervention to reduce workspace injuries, minimise deterioration, reduce the severity of WRMDs and foster good spinal health habits to improve the quality of life of working Australians. Those most vulnerable to WMSDs are community and personal service workers such as first responders and healthcare, aged care, NDIS and disability service workers; while machinery operators, drivers, labourers, technicians and tradies are also among those with the highest rates of physical work-related injuries.

Workers who undertake lifting, pulling, standing or sitting for extended periods of time, computer work at home or in an office setting, and those impacted by workplace stress, can all suffer from a range of work-related spinal health issues including headaches and neck and back pain that can develop into chronic pain.

During WorkSpace Week, Australians are encouraged to host a #StraightenUpAustralia Challenge — a three-minute activity using ACA’s Straighten Up app in their workspace to promote working well anywhere and to share video and images of their #MyHealthyWorkspace to help minimise work-related musculoskeletal disorders and improve spinal health and wellbeing. The ACA will also focus on preventing work-related spinal health disorders caused by physical and mental stress, repetitive work and poorly set-up non-ergonomic workspaces to help minimise workspace injuries and the long-term impact on employers and the overall health and wellbeing of injured workers.

Image credit: Lovric

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