Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health Online-first -article    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3818

The impact of national guidelines covering moving and handling of people on injury rates and related costs

by Lidegaard M, Olsen KB, Legg SJ, Douwes J

Objective National guidelines for moving and handling of people (MHP) were introduced in New Zealand in 2012 to reduce MHP-related injuries in the healthcare sector. This study assessed the effectiveness of this on MHP-related injury claims.

Methods MHP-related injury claims were identified from the national injury claims database, which included 118 755 accepted claims for 2005–2016 across 14 industries. Interrupted time-series analysis was used to assess temporal changes in MHP-related claims rates, costs, and causes for the period before (2005–2012) and following (2013–2016) the introduction of the national guidelines.

Results Prior to the introduction of the guidelines, MHP-related claims were estimated to be 39 209 (33.0% of all accepted injury claims), with claims rates and associated costs for the 14 industries decreasing by 0.4 [95% confidence interval (CI) -0.5‒ -0.2, P<0.001] and NZ$ 230 per claim (95% CI -324‒ -136, P=0.001) respectively. In the year following the introduction of the guidelines, there were no overall changes in claim rates or costs. However, significant increases in claim rates [ranging from 1.27–1.99 (P=0.004–0.010)] and claim costs [ranging from NZ$ 724–987 per claim (P=0.032–0.045)] were found 2–4 years later. More than 65% of all MHP-related claims were caused by lifting/carrying/strain, and there was a significant increase in claim numbers due to this cause, ranging from 431.7–594.0 (P=0.001–0.008) in the four years following the introduction of the guidelines.

Conclusions The introduction of national MHP-guidelines in 2012 in New Zealand did not reduce MHP-related injury rates and costs. On the contrary, there were statistically significant increases 2–4 years after introduction of the guidelines.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2013;39(2):164-169  2013;39(1):27-36
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