Soft tissue health a top priority for reducing LTIs

A physical trainer, noted for helping FIFO workers with fitness and weight reduction plans, believes soft tissue health is the “key focus” to reducing total recorded injury frequency rates (TRIFR) among miners in Western Australia.

Cam Wild, director of FIFO-focused Fifo Fit, said poor soft tissue health and excessive weight were being overlooked in risk assessments.

Wild cited government statistics that found the Western Australian resources sector lost $570 million in days to lost time injuries (LTI) in 2016–17, with 51.5 per cent of LTIs in the same time period being due to “traumatic joint/ligament and muscle-tendon injury”.

Wild said the government statistics were “very conservative” because they did not account for average costs per claim or productivity hits due to switching workers to light duties.

He pointed to an increase in focus on soft tissue health as a way to reduce TRIFR.

“[These] statistics are not so surprising when you consider that the mining sector has the highest instance of overweight and obese employees, making up almost 80 per cent of the workforce,” Wild said.

“While an initial risk assessment is essential, its overall effectiveness is compromised by poor soft tissue health and excessive weight resulting in unforeseen or overlooked risks.”

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