Occupational Health group members work collaboratively with a range of people including employers, employees, other health professionals, engineers and designers to offer a range of measures aimed at reducing health and safety risks for people at work through injury prevention and management.
The average Australian spends close to 2000 hours at work each year. And while more people are working in offices, this doesn’t decrease their risk of injury or ill health. Physiotherapy has a vital role to play in people’s health—both on and off the job.
Do you feel confident that you’ve got the very best knowledge and support to do your job as an occupational health physiotherapist? If not, or if there are things you’d like to change or draw attention to in this field, then you should be a member of the Occupational Health group.
The group has had an active voice in policy debates and reform, and actively supports the APA with its annual Tradies National Health Month campaign.
Members of the group are kept in the loop with regular emails, which include resources, reviews of professional development and updates on committee activities around the country.
There are many professional development opportunities, whether face-to-face, online, multi-day courses or evening lectures. All courses organised by the group are offered at a discount to group members.
In the mid-1980s, occupational health, safety and welfare legislation was introduced and updated in all Australian jurisdictions. At around the same time, the APA Occupational Health group was formed.
The focus of the group has always been on contributing to the health and wellbeing of workers. While many jobs have changed or are changing, the principles of employee wellbeing and happiness are becoming more important to many people. Occupational health physiotherapists take a risk management approach to injury prevention and management, in line with occupational health and safety laws.
In the past, members of the group have been heavily involved in consultations with government, changes to regulations and laws, and submission processes. Their expertise is sought after by many policy makers and employers.
The group has developed levelled courses that allow you to progress along the titling and specialisation pathway.
From 2013 to 2016, the group was heavily involved in a consumer campaign, Tradies National Health Month. The campaign encouraged trades people, their employers and industry groups to prioritise the long-term health of people in the trade occupations. Physiotherapy for injury management, preventive measures (like stretching and general fitness), and management of conditions like male incontinence were all highlighted.
There are opportunities to be involved in shaping the future of this group. You can volunteer for committee positions in your state or at a national level, or contribute your ideas for professional development and other activities.
Every two years, the APA conference scientific committee works to produce a high quality program for each area of physiotherapy, including occupational health, giving you another opportunity to influence this area of the profession.