Workforce Health Innovation
The Workforce Health Innovation Group has completed or is currently involved in a range of occupational health and injury prevention programs across a number of industries including:
- emergency services.
The team has a reputation for tackling real world problems using a group of experts and practitioners able to implement evidence-based programs and provide workers with knowledge of their effectiveness. The group has spent more than 12 years in the mining industry with major projects involving both underground and open-cut operations in areas of —
- prevention of musculoskeletal (M/S) injury & disorder
- associated priority health conditions such as
- overweight & obesity, mental disorders and fatigue
- diversity in the workforce e.g. ageing workforce
Health is your future
Traditionally, occupational health and safety (OH&S) has predominantly focussed on safety rather than the overall health of the worker. The Workforce Health Innovation Group is working towards increasing the HEALTH profile within the OH&S framework. Through its research the Workforce Health Innovation Group will develop and evaluate innovative approaches to supporting and improving workforce health and productivity, ranging from new biomarkers of injury to better methods for monitoring exposure to work demands.
Professor Tony Parker leads a team of researchers and practitioners which has developed an interdisciplinary program of research concerned with health of the mining workforce. The team brings together a broad range of expertise in areas associated with M/S injury and disorder and related health issues. Prevention of chronic disease and injury in the mining workforce requires a holistic approach which recognises the diversity in the workforce and the unique setting in which this industry operates.
Industry linked projects
The Workforce Health Innovation Group has applied this knowledge to the Enhancing Workforce Health at Downer EDI Mining program to advise, develop and evaluate current OH&S systems and conduct various health interventions. Such work is evidence based and made with consultation and engagement of the workforce at all levels.
Read more about the Enhancing Workforce Health program in the IHBI Advances newsletter.
The group is regularly involved in providing advice and consultancy to major industry and government groups. A recent example of this is the provision of an independent review of the Queensland Mines & Quarries Annual Safety Performance and Health Report for the Queensland Department of Mines and Energy.
Workforce Health Innovation has completed or is currently involved in a range of projects in the area of injury prevention across a range of industries.
- Enhancing Workforce Health at Downer EDI Mining: Integration of Health and Safety Systems
- A Review of the Queensland Mines and Quarries Annual Safety Performance and Health Report
- Musculoskeletal injury: innovative technologies for evaluating short and longer term adaptations to work in coal mining
- Age related changes in work ability and injury risk in underground & open-cut coal miners
- Development of new techniques to monitor musculoskeletal load & exposure management
- The impact of fatigue on work performance and safety outcomes in mining
- Injury risk management in the older worker
- Compatibility of controls and displays in heavy equipment and vehicles
- Functional fitness measures related to the work practices of underground and open–cut coal miners
- Workload distribution and job rotation in underground mining
- Age related patterns of sprain & strain injury in coal mining
- Pre-employment screening protocols for underground & open-cut mining
- Health, stress & fatigue in Australian seafarers: implications for fatigue management
- Home/away issues associated with the work of Great Barrier Reef pilots: impact on wives and families
- Work schedule analysis of the work practices of seafarers
- Health and work profiles of ambulance service operational personnel
- Functional screening profiles & injury risk in ambulance operations personnel
- Pre-employment screening protocols for transit officers
Sports Science applications
The collaboration between QUT and Downer EDI Mining on the Enhancing Workforce Health program has provided the opportunity to explore new and innovative approaches to persistent problems such as musculoskeletal injury and disorder.
This has been achieved by engagement in a number of work related projects such as:
- Development of non-invasive and innovative techniques to quantify exposure to physical risk factors for musculoskeletal injury
- Techniques for the prevention of back and shoulder injuries in high risk work categories
- Development of biomarkers of tissue adaptation relative to physical exposure patterns
- Mental health issues in new recruits to the mining industry
- Real-time heat stress monitoring
- New techniques to evaluate and improve health literacy in the mining workforce