Health and safety at work: a basic guide

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safety at work

Health and safety at work: a basic guide

Health and safety at work: a basic guide

 safety at work

What steps must an employer take to ensure they comply with the laws on health and safety and minimize the risk of employees becoming ill or getting injured while at work?  There are a number of health and safety measures all employers must implement in the workplace, and below we have outlined a few.

 

Risk Assessment:  All employers must conduct a risk assessment of their workplace. A typical risk assessment will ensure that possible hazards or dangers to workers’ health and safety have been identified and that sufficient protection is in place to prevent an accident.  Potential hazards are noted (these may include, among others, slippery surfaces, people working at height, dangerous substances, noisy environments and areas where vehicles are in motion).  Also noted are those workers who may be at risk from these potential hazards. The level of the risk must then be gauged along with the adequacy or otherwise of the precautions and protection currently in place – this will dictate whether further protective measures need to be introduced.

 

Signs:  Each workplace must show the following signs:  A copy, prominently displayed, of the Health and Safety law poster, a certificate of employers’ liability insurance; and signs warning employees of particular workplace dangers or hazards such as machinery, vehicles at work and potentially harmful substances.

 

Equipment:  All equipment used by employees at work must be safe.  The law requires that such equipment must be appropriate for the use to which it is put and that it must be checked regularly and kept in safe working order.  The equipment must come with safety precautions like protective clothing and warning signs where appropriate.  The only employees who can use equipment are those who have the training and the information needed to operate the equipment safely.

 

First Aid:  The law requires employers ensure there are adequate first aid facilities and equipment in the workplace. These must include a properly filled first aid box.  Firms handling dangerous substances or using potentially dangerous machinery are usually required to have further first aid procedures in place.

 

Prevent Injuries:  Using a service such as the Physical Capacity Profile Testing System will assist employers in preventing work place injuries by properly matching their employees’ physical abilities to their new job.  Utilizing state-of-the-art proprietary software, the PCP machine completes a collection of multiple measurements in as little as 30 minutes with results available to employers within minutes.  The post offer physical exam and testing accesses human performance to reduce workers’ comp claims, lower employer insurance premiums and minimize employee injuries.

 

 

A Word From Our Patients

We always appreciate when our patients let us know how they feel about the work we do, whether it be positive or negative. It allows us to evaluate ourselves on a regular basis to make sure we are doing the best we can!

Below is a letter we received from one of our patients to Brendan Cousineau from our Scottsdale location!

Dear Brendan,

I want to thank you for all the great therapy you have given me with my knee injury. You and Pam really do an incredible job in helping people recover from all types of issues. It was amazing to me that you predicted the need for surgery even before I went to the surgeon.  Because of what you had shared with me, I felt more comfortable in having the surgery and knew that I could go back to you for the rehabilitation.

I’m very impressed with the attention you’ve given me and how I see you treat all other patients.  You really show caring and a need to see all patients improve their quality of life. A large part of recuperation is the encouragement you share with your clients.

You have a wonderful spirit and pass on optimism to all of us.  That is a huge part of the healing process.   I also appreciate your skill level in accessing what can be done to improve my health.  When I presented you with my neck problem, I felt more relief than I have had in a long time.  I will diligently follow the exercise program you give me to strength my neck so that I can keep up with my small business operation. I have lived with a lot of pain in my low back but manage to keep that at bay with swimming and not sitting too long at one time. The neck is another issue and I look forward to a few more sessions with you so you can help me learn how to relieve that pain on an ongoing basis. I want to stay productive and not suffer with that “pain in the neck”. 

You have really helped me in the last nine months.  I can’t wait to go dancing again…Thanks for all you’ve done to keep me active and happy in my life.  Please continue all your good works with those who need your expertise and have the desire to live with less pain or be pain free. You’re making this a better world one patient at a time.

Sincerely, Sandy S.

Keep up the good work, team!

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have!

Proper posture

Proper Posture Helps Reduce Back Pain

Proper posture

Do you have good or poor posture? Check yourself right now as you are reading this- are you sitting upright or have totally sunk into your chair?

Without the daily reminders from parents or teachers of “sit up straight!” and “don’t slouch!”, it is harder to remember to do just that.

In order to prevent neck and back injuries, strong flexible muscles are a must to support the spine’s natural curves. In order for your back to be healthy, the spine’s curves must be in balanced or neutral alignment at all times in both stationary activities, and with movement. A lot of conditions such as sciatica disc trouble, low back pain, whiplash, neck pain, pinched nerves and arthritis have one thing in common: each condition can feel better or worse by the way you align and balance your head, neck and back as you go about your daily activities.

Proper Posture Checklist

  • Are you holding your head straight?
  • Are your shoulders in line with your ears?
  • Are your shoulders level?
  • Are your hips level?
  • Is your chin parallel to the floor?

Tips for Improving Posture

• Keep your shoulders level and support your arms while sitting

• Change your position when performing an activity for a long period of time

• Pull your stomach muscles in

• Think “tall” while you are standing

• Sit in a chair with a straight back with your back supported and feet flat on the floor

• Keep your weight down and exercise regularly

• Sleep with a pillow that supports your neck comfortably

• Do Planks, Wall Squats and crunches to help you stand and sit with correct spinal alignment.

There are key benefits to improving your posture that will make a world of a difference. Proper posture allows you to breathe properly, increasing your concentration and thinking ability. Most importantly, it will help with avoiding health complications. Over time, bad posture habits can result in structural changes to the body that can affect physical appearance and reduce functioning of joints and muscles. The sooner you begin practicing good posture, the better.

At Contact Physical Therapy, we provide one on one contact and a direct treatment approach with each patient. It is our goal to return every patient to their active lifestyle.

hand therapist

Physical Therapy and Hand Therapy

Patients can have numerous questions regarding physical therapy and hand therapy, what to expect and why it may be the best option for them. So, to help you answer those patient questions, we interviewed Noah Arenson, PT and Karen Thomas, OTR/L, CHT.


physical therapistWhy do you think physical therapy may be the best treatment plan for me?

Noah: The initial evaluation with determine that fact. The advantage of undergoing physical therapy is learning your body’s limitations and discovering how to address them to your

advantage. If we do not identify impairments we can address through physical therapy, we would discuss with your healthcare provider a more appropriate route for care.

How involved will you be in my day-to-day therapy?

Noah: Each session would involve hands-on manual treatments, as indicated, followed by progressive therapeutic exercise specific to your individual goals. I, or your assigned physical therapist, would be involved directly throughout the entire visit every visit.

Will I see the same physical therapist for each appointment, or will I be assigned a different therapist each time?

Noah: You will see the same physical therapist from the initial evaluation until your last appointment. You will not work with anyone but your assigned physical therapist.

What are some things I can do on my own, at home, to improve my condition?

Noah: Depending on what we discover through the initial evaluation, we will identify the specific muscle groups to strengthen, stretch or coordinate. A home exercise program is provided at the first session and progressed throughout your time of care. Open communication with your therapist is important in reaching your rehabilitation goals.

hand therapistWill I experience pain or discomfort during my visit?

Karen: This will depend on your diagnosis. If you have a condition such as a wrist or finger fracture and are coming out of a cast or brace, the wrist and fingers can be stiff or uncomfortable when motion is initiated. Certified Hand Therapists are trained to respect pain and the healing structures of the injury. Most patients tolerate treatment well & note improvement the first session.

How long will each hand therapy session be?

Karen: Sessions are usually 1-1.5 hours, allowing for one-on-one manual therapy, modalities of heat, ice and ultrasound as needed, and exercises and instruction in home exercises and care.

What are the most common injuries or conditions requiring hand therapy?

Karen: Conditions we commonly treat include fractures (shoulder, elbow, wrist & fingers), tendon lacerations and repairs, trigger finger or trigger thumb, carpal tunnel or cubital tunnel syndrome or release, rotator cuff syndrome or repair, deQuervain’s tendonitis, all upper extremity tendonitis conditions, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and infections.

How do you determine what course of hand therapy treatment is best for me?

Karen: During your first visit you will undergo an initial evaluation including questions about your pain, symptoms, functional abilities, range of motion and sensation and strength measurements. Your therapist will identify problems and work with you to set goals. In some instances, your diagnosis may have a set protocol for splint duration and when you will be able to fully move and strengthen your arm/hand. You and your therapist will then review your protocol, goals and plans.

mesa physical therapy

Men’s Health Awareness Month

fathersdayMen’s Health Awareness Month

Men tend to be more aggressively active on the weekend, which can lead to an increased risk of injury. To highlight Men’s Health Awareness Month, and Men’s Health Week (10th-16th), we’ve listed helpful tips on common male injuries to help you, or the men in your life, lead a healthy and safe life.

 

Ankle Sprains

It is common for men to turn or twist an ankle while playing a weekend game of basketball or football. Although these may be difficult to avoid in some cases, proper warm-up and stretches performed prior to activity can help reduce the chances of injury.

Groin Pulls

A quick side-to-side motion can sometimes cause a strain of the muscles on the inner thigh. These are very common in hockey, soccer, football and baseball. To treat a groin pull, ice and rest. These pulls often heal on their own, but if it doesn’t, consult a healthcare provider.

Hamstring Strain

Running sports and activities with a quick kicking motion of the leg can cause hamstring strains. Strains can also occur in water sports when there is a sudden forward bending motion. These injuries can take a while to heal, so it is imperative to ice, rest and consult a physical therapist on how to speed up the recovery.

Shin Splints

If a strenuous and sudden running program is started without proper planning, shin splints can occur. Running on different and uneven surfaces can cause pain down the front of the lower leg. Rest, ice and over the counter anti-inflammatory medications may relieve most of the pain. If it persists, see a healthcare provider to rule out a more serious injury such as a stress fracture.

ACL Injuries

One of the most severe injuries athletes may experience is an ACL injury. A sudden twisting while the foot is planted can cause an ACL tear. An audible ‘pop’ may be heard, followed by discomfort and swelling. Rest, ice, compression and elevation are important during the first stages of this injury. If the injury is sustained, it is important to see a physician for evaluation. To stay active, surgery is often required.

Tennis Elbow

Golfing and tennis are very popular sports for many men. Frequent swings and poor body mechanics can contribute to this overuse injury. Unfortunately, one of the most common remedies for this condition is rest, however there are some other treatments that may be of benefit. Be sure to ask a physical therapist or physician what you can do to manage your elbow pain for a safe return to sports.

physical therapy function

What does Function Mean to You?

physical therapy functionFunction means different things to different people. When a patient has a functional limitation, they have a restriction of the ability to perform a physical action or activity in an efficient manner. The goal at Contact Physical Therapy is to return patients to their level of function.

Children

Sprains and strains can affect children, but if treated correctly, we can get them back to playing their sports with little to no down time. Our physical therapists first concentrate on controlling any pain & swelling associated with the injury. Then, they may start functional activities such as running, jumping and climbing. Returning children to playing is returning them to function.

Young Adults

Young adults can be plagued with a variety of injuries. Whether they are a high school or college athlete, or the occasional runner, swimmer or hiker, injuries can occur & they need to return to function. Function for the young adult could mean returning them to their active lifestyle including sports specific activities or drills.

Adults

The adult may define function in a very different way. Sometimes the adult needs to work or drive ‘pain-free’. While working with the adult population, special attention may be made on postural exercises & activities and strengthening exercises. By the age of 40, adults begin to lose 8% of muscle every 10 years – therefore concentration on exercise & posture is critical in returning adults to function.

Geriatrics

By the age of 70, we have lost over 15% of our muscle, and oftentimes balance has significantly decreased. For the geriatric patient, we pay special attention to gait & balance activities, allowing them to be functionally unassisted while performing activities of daily living such as getting in & out of bed or a chair, up & down stairs, or simply navigating uneven surfaces.

noah arenson physical therapist

Noah Arenson Interviewed by Masters in Healthcare

Noah ArensonNoah Arenson from our Mesa Contact Physical Therapy clinic had the privilege of being interviewed by Masters in Healthcare to discuss his career as a physical therapist, and he was featured on their website!

Below is Noah’s interview:

What is it about your job that keeps you at it day in and day out?

Arenson: “There is an incredible variety of conditions that we treat at Contact Physical Therapy. I enjoy the investigative approach of rehabilitation to determine the unique origin of each patient symptoms and creating a treatment plan to meet their goals. It is very satisfying to assist patients on their journey to effectively diminishing their pain and restoring their function.”

How do you stay up-to-date in the field and maintain professionalism?

Arenson: “I am blessed to have colleagues around me to bounce ideas off and review my documentation. We also live in a state that offers a variety of continuing education opportunities to expand our treatment approaches.”

What’s one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had, either as a student or in your professional career?

Arenson: “There have been several instances in my career where a patient initially is very doubtful that physical therapy would have any impact on their particular issue. To see them leave the clinic with appreciable improvement and knowledge to continue gains on their own is very rewarding.”

What advice do you have for people just starting their education or their professional career?

Arenson: “Volunteer at a variety of health professional settings. Get an appreciation of the demands of a variety of professions and see if they match your individual strengths and interests.”

Click here for more on Noah’s feature on Masters in Healthcare.

For more information on Contact Physical Therapy, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today!

sport safety

We Love our Children!

sport safetyWe Love Our Children!

Contact Physical Therapy wanted you to know how much we love our children, and how it is our passion to keep them safe and happy, by highlighting the National Awarenesses throughout April.

 

SPORTS SAFETY TIPS (National Awareness: 4/1-4/30)

• Be mindful of hot temperatures and cancel practice if the heat is too extreme

• Have your kids participate in flexibility and fitness programs to learn proper exercises.

• Make sure your kids are provided with adequate rest periods to prevent overuse injuries. (Modified from Healthline.com)

PLAYGROUND SAFETY TIPS (National Awareness: 4/21 – 4/27)

• Make sure playground equipment is inspected frequently and kept in good repair. If it’s not, report this to your local parks and recreations office.

• Remove hood and neck drawstrings from children’s clothing and outerwear and don’t let kids wear helmets, necklaces, purses or scarves on the playground.

• Keep toddlers under age 5 in a separate play area, away from equipment designed for bigger kids.

• Actively supervise kids on a playground. Just being in the same area isn’t good enough – they need your undivided attention while playing on or around the equipment. Stay active and spend time at playgrounds, but always remember these tips not only during National Playground Safety Week! Modified from Safe Kids USA

NATIONAL SIBLING DAY (4/10)

Whether you are a brother or sister or have more than one child, celebrate that special relationship, not only this day, but every day!

TAKE OUR DAUGHTERS & SONS TO WORK DAY (4/25)

“Take your Daughters & Sons to Work Day®”, focuses on the ongoing challenges parents encounter while trying to integrate work and family. This day was designed to allow parents, guardians and mentors to share their work lives and introduce solutions these issues for our nation’s daughters and sons.

For more tips and information, please contact us today!

baseball injuries

Common Baseball Injuries and Fun Facts

Spring Training is here and we wanted to share some fun facts with you and common baseball injuries to look out for!

common baseball injuriesArizona Baseball Fun Facts

Chicago Cubs

Mesa has been hosting the Cubs since 1952. Previous to Hohokam Park and Fitch Park, the Chicago Cubs Spring Training facility was called Rendezvous Park.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks have the first Major League Baseball spring training facility in the nation to be built on Native American land.

San Francisco Giants

The original Scottsdale Stadium was built in 1956 and served as the former Cactus League home of the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Oakland A’s and now the San Francisco Giants.


Most Common Baseball Injuries

In Children Eye Injuries are the most common baseball injuries in children, while as many as 45% of pitchers under the age of 12 have chronic elbow pain.

In Teenagers Other than lacerations and bruises, the most common teenage baseball injuries are sprains and strains. However, pitchers suffer the most from overuse injuries. About 58% of high school pitchers suffer from an overuse injury of the elbow or shoulder.

In Professionals Recent studies show the most common baseball injuries among fielders include hamstring & groin strains. While pitchers tend to strain/tear ligaments in the elbow or rotator cuff.


A quote from the Diamondbacks Strength Coach, Nate Shaw!

“From my perspective, the warm up is one of the most important parts of the day. It prepares athletes for a day consisting of reactive movements in every plane. Our goal with the warm up is to have athletes go through a series of planned movements, lubricating the joints and raising the body temperature enough to sweat. A rise in core temperature and preemptive motion in all directional planes are two of the bigger themes for us, especially during spring training.”

To purchase tickets to a Diamondbacks spring training game, visit The Arizona Diamondbacks website.

Are you or your child experiencing one of the above listed conditions? Contact Us today to schedule an injury assessment!

mesa physical therapy

Wise Healthcare Consumers

wise healthcare consumerThe Wise Healthcare Consumer

Below are 4 Tips to help patients be Wise Healthcare Consumers!

1. Wise Healthcare Consumers take time and effort when choosing a health plan

2. Choose your health care provider wisely, use care and talk to your family and friends about their experiences

3. Prepare and communicate with your healthcare provider when you make an office visit. Ask questions, share concerns and ask about cost negotiations

4. Analyze and evaluate all sources of health information Adapted from the American Institute for Preventative Medicine “Wise Health Care Consumer Toolkit”

The Affordable Care Act…What’s Coming?

Beginning October 2013, the Health Insurance Marketplace will begin open enrollment. Below are 4 ways to get ready now.

1. Make a list of questions you might have, such as “can I stay with my current doctor?” and “Will this plan cover my health costs when I’m traveling?”

2. Make sure you understand how insurance works, including deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, copayments, etc. You’ll want to consider these details while you’re shopping around.

3. Start gathering basic information about your household income. Most people will qualify to get a break on costs, and you’ll need income information to find out how much you’re eligible for.

4. Set your budget. There will be different types of health plans to meet a variety of needs and budgets, and breaking them down by cost can help narrow your choices.

Adapted from healthcare.gov “Checklist for Individuals and Families”