Journal of occupational rehabilitation

The Effect of a Workplace-Based Early Intervention Program on Work-Related Musculoskeletal Compensation Outcomes at a Poultry Meat Processing Plant.

PMID 26880190


Introduction The aim of this study is to determine whether a workplace-based early intervention injury prevention program reduces work-related musculoskeletal compensation outcomes in poultry meat processing workers. Methods A poultry meatworks in Queensland, Australia implemented an onsite early intervention which included immediate reporting and triage, reassurance, multidisciplinary participatory consultation, workplace modifica tion and onsite physiotherapy. Secondary pre-post analyses of the meatworks' compensation data over 4 years were performed, with the intervention commencing 2 years into the study period. Outcome measures included rate of claims, costs per claim and work days absent at an individual claim level. Where possible, similar analyses were performed on data for Queensland's poultry meat processing industry (excluding the meatworks used in this study). Results At the intervention meatworks, in the post intervention period an 18 % reduction in claims per 1 million working hours (p = 0.017) was observed. Generalized linear modelling revealed a significant reduction in average costs per claim of $831 (OR 0.74; 95 % CI 0.59-0.93; p = 0.009). Median days absent was reduced by 37 % (p = 0.024). For the poultry meat processing industry over the same period, generalized linear modelling revealed no significant change in average costs per claim (OR 1.02; 95 % CI 0.76-1.36; p = 0.91). Median days absent was unchanged (p = 0.93). Conclusion The introduction of an onsite, workplace-based early intervention injury prevention program demonstrated positive effects on compensation outcomes for work-related musculoskeletal disorders in poultry meat processing workers. Prospective studies are needed to confirm the findings of the present study.