ASK RENATA

I am looking for data or research that supports workplace exercise programs and having an on-site physiotherapist. I am trying to establish a rehab/physio room and offer on-site physiotherapy appointments along with pre-work exercises.

Research conducted by Harvard Medical School into the efficacy of workplace wellness programs reported mixed results, and a Meta-Analysis of Workplace Physical Interventions concluded further research is needed.

Regarding the use of an on-site physiotherapist, we can certainly see the benefits of easily accessible treatment for injuries, whether work-related or not. However, we would advise proceeding cautiously. In the past, unions have encountered issues with information gathered as part of these company-sponsored exercise, treatment, and injury diversion programs being used against workers in the event they are injured at work. Employers often argue that the injury is pre-existing and not work-related to avoid liability.

As a rule, OHS legislation requires employers to provide a safe work environment. We strongly encourage you to ensure that your employer, in the first instance, addresses the tasks and systems of work that can cause musculoskeletal disorders.

Furthermore, we always encourage Union HSRs to engage with their unions for additional guidance and support.

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