Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are a major cost burden to individuals, organizations, and society. While the contribution to injury of various factors is widely acknowledged, little is known about the translation of this knowledge from researchers to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) practitioners, nor the implementation, and effectiveness, of injury prevention advice subsequently provided to organizations. It is widely acknowledged that a ‘research-practice gap’ exists and this is further complicated by difficulties evident in applying structured interventions to prevent injury in the workplace. Injury prevention advice commonly includes proposed changes to the work system, environment, and work practices. This requires a change in both organizational and individual behaviour. The structuring of injury prevention advice according to behaviour change principles has been proposed by researchers as a means for improving its effectiveness. However, there is little evidence that this has been adopted by OHS practitioners. The incorporation of such an approach as a means of structuring advice will, for many OHS practitioners, require a paradigm-shift. While most focus on the domain of practice in which they are most expert — the physical environment — the inclusion of a method to guide and structure their advice may improve its relevance to their client and its adoption and potential effectiveness. Ultimately, the translation of research findings into OHS professional practice will require an approach which will bridge the ‘researcher-practice gap’ by both actively engaging OHS practitioners in research and improving the dissemination of findings.
- Injury prevention
- Knowledge translation