Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the most prevalent non-communicable disease in Australia and is the leading cause of death worldwide (WHO 2017). CVD is estimated to cost SA employers $2.5 billion each year in worker absence and reduced productivity (Medibank Private 2005). In SA, CVD claims have been found to be compensable when they have occurred during work duties. CVD risk is of particular relevance to employers in the transport industry given the severe consequences of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurring with a driver. In SA, SCA affects more than 1,800 people each year (SAAS 2019). If a worker suffers a SCA in your workplace it is imperative that co-workers act quickly.
Employers have a legislative responsibility to monitor the health of their workers and the conditions of the workplace for the purpose of preventing illness or injury arising from work duties (Work Health & Safety Act 2012 SA Section 19(3)(g)). The table below contains workplace relevant CVD risk factors and their effect on increasing the risk of a worker developing CVD. Combining an aging workforce in SA with older age being the most significant risk multiplier for CVD, it is more important now than ever for employers to address CVD risk in their workplace.
Employers can address CVD risk factors in their workplace through the implementation of onsite health assessments. An onsite health assessment will measure a worker’s cardiac risk rating, including on the spot blood cholesterol and glucose values, and provide advice to a worker on how to reduce their CVD risk factors.
To learn more about the effectiveness of health assessments, read the following case study or contact CHG.