07:42am Thursday 23 November 2017

New approach needed in injury prevention

Professor Rod McClure

Professor Rod McClure

Director of the Monash Injury Research Institute, Professor Rod McClure, will use next week’s Dr Eric Wigglesworth AM Memorial Lecture to argue researchers must take a more ecological view of injury prevention to improve health and safety.

In his lecture, Professor McClure will examine some of the prevailing paradigms of injury research and question whether these may have outlived their usefulness.

Since the 1970s, injury prevention science has been dominated by the theory that the transfer of energy was the cause of injuries and that prevention was achieved through data-driven, systematic energy control. 

Professor McClure said the way forward for injury research was to consider energy, human function and the environment as a system. 

“Energy control is only part of the solution and that energy control needs to be considered in context,” Professor McClure said. 

“Research in its pure theoretical form does not necessarily translate into creating a safer environment or safer vehicles. We need to find a way to take ‘what works’ in theory and ‘make it work’ in practice.

“By recasting the problem of injury in terms of an ecological model, the barriers to translating research into effective injury prevention programs will be overcome,”

Professor McClure said the annual lecture series named in honour of research pioneer Dr Eric Wigglesworth AM was the perfect platform to a promote change in thinking.

“What characterised Eric Wigglesworth’s academic career more than anything else was his courage,” Professor McClure said.

“He boldly questioned where most others were happy just to follow. Surely, a Dr Eric Wigglesworth AM Memorial Lecture is the right place for us to be asking if it is time to entirely rethink our approach and replace it with a more effective way forward?”

Professor Rod McClure will present the 2012 Dr Eric Wigglesworth AM Memorial Lecture at BMW The Edge Federation Square at 7pm Monday 16 April.


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