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Published Friday, 5th June 2015

Chronic Diseases And Acute Occupational Injury Risk

The presence of chronic diseases such as chronic heart disease, diabetes, depression and asthma in workers has been associated with increased hazard of injury, or Acute Occupational Injury risk1. Hypertension is not significantly associated with the risk of acute occupational injury in workers. The links between the presence of chronic diseases and injury risk were not strong for more serious reportable injuries. Ironically, the incidence of disease and occupational injury remain generally under reported2. This is of concern to employers whose aim is to decrease the risk of acute occupational injury risk through the early detection of the presence or risk of chronic diseases.

Screening for the presence or risk of chronic diseases such as chronic heart disease, diabetes, depression and asthma is conducted as part of a KINNECT Pre-employment Medical History Questionnaire. In addition to this, a KINNECT nurse or doctor performs a physical examination to assess the worker for signs and symptoms of existing chronic diseases (including chronic heart disease and asthma). After the Pre-employment Medical screen and assessments have been performed, a Nominated Medical Advisor (NMA) may refer a worker back to their General Practitioner to coordinate further investigations before commencing employment.

The spirometry component of a KINNECT Pre-employment Medical Assessment determines if a workers airways in their lungs are normal, if their airways are narrow (obstructed) or if they are blocked (occluded). On some specialised KINNECT Pre-employment Medical Assessments, workers may be required to perform a Bronchodilator Spirometry Assessment for current Asthma risk.

This is done by performing a Spirometry Assessment before and one hour after the worker has taken a standard dose of Ventolin. This will detect if a worker has taken Ventolin prior to participating in a Spirometry Assessment.

Workers who are curious about their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus can access free interactive or non-interactive tools online3. These tools help workers determine their diabetes risk prior to undertaking a KINNECT Pre-employment Medical Assessment.

References:

  1. Kubo J et al. Contribution Of Health Status And Prevalent Chronic Disease To Individual Risk For Workplace Injury In The Manufacturing Environment. Occupational And Environmental Medicine 2014 Mar; 71(3):159-66.
  2. Lenore S et al. Occupational Injury and Illness Surveillance: Conceptual Filters Explain Underreporting. American Journal Of Public Health 2002 September; 92(9): 1421–1429.
  3. Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. The Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool (AUSDRISK). May 2010. https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/PageFiles/937/AUSDRISK%20Web%2014%20July%2010.pdf

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