The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) allows companies to provide on-site first aid services for their injured employees. OSHA has defined the requirements for record keeping for work related injuries as well as the criteria regulating first aid treatment.
Our practice utilizes that criteria for first aid care as follows:
Using hot or cold therapy
Using any non-rigid means of support, such as elastic bandages, wraps, non-rigid back belts, etc. (devices with rigid stays or other systems designed to immobilize parts of the body are considered medical treatment for record keeping purposes). This includes use of kinesiotape and other forms of taping.
As per the OSHA regulation, we do not provide specialized exercise prescription for injured employees.
In addition to these services, WORKABILITY CENTERS' therapists provide the injured employee with information designed to help them recover from the incident more quickly.
For appropriate musculoskeletal injuries, Instead of sending your injured worker to a physician, you send them to a WORKABILITY CENTERS location or affiliate. The physical therapist does a thorough musculoskeletal evaluation to ensure they are a candidate for first aid measures only. They utilize first aid treatment options and teach your employee how to manage their symptoms. The worker is able to see the physical therapist for several treatments to teach them, treat them with first aid measures, and get them ready to return to work. The majority of the time treatment is successful and the worker returns to work without having seen a physician, and without opening an OSHA 300 log or a worker’s compensation case. In certain cases, after the physical therapy evaluation, if the worker is not appropriate for first aid care only, the worker is referred back to the company with recommendations for full medical care.
First Aid Care can also be done on-site at your facility. All that is needed is a private space with a sturdy table that a treatment pad can be placed on so the worker can be evaluated. The therapist can then provide consultations, evaluations and first aid level treatments.
If desired, we can also implement a full service treatment facility on-site.
Our therapists and ergonomists have extensive education in ergonomic evaluation and assessment. They are certified and trained to evaluate and modify computer workstations to improve employee comfort and productivity levels. Many computer workstations are set up inappropriately which leads to unnecessary discomfort. Slight adjustments can often make employees more comfortable and reverse the progression of common musculoskeletal injuries including neck, shoulder, elbow, and wrist pain.
Additionally, our experts perform assessments using standardized ergonomic assessment tools like the Moore-Garg Strain Index, the NIOSH Lifting Equation and the Michigan 3D Model to determine whether a process needs to be changed or is not an imminent risk. Recommendations are made to assist with decreasing ergonomic risk factors.
A Physical Demands Analysis (PDA) is a document detailing the essential physical functions a worker must be capable of to successfully and safely perform their job. Physical demands may include pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying and awkward postures. The document details the heaviest forces, postures, and positions required and the frequency of each. The PDA defines frequency as per the US Department of Labor guidelines for occasional, frequent or constant and provides additional details in numbers to further define the physical demands. The PDA is utilized to assist medical professionals in determining whether workers are ready to return to work after an injury and are vital for performing Job Match Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCEs) or to set up Post Offer of Employment Tests (POET).
The Post Offer of Employment Test (POET) is a natural extension of the Physical Demands Analysis (PDA). The testing protocol reflects the work done as identified in the PDA and establishes pass/fail scores. POETs are used after a job offer has been extended to an individual with the provision that they must pass the test prior to onset of employment, similar todrug screen requirements.
The POET process ensures the employer of legally defensible testing that can be used to disqualify those applicants who do not have the physical abilities to successfully and safely do the job. This , in turn, reduces employee's risk for injury and employer's exposure to costly injuries and lost time.
WorkAbility Centers' experts have formulated and administered POET protocolsfor companies such as Orbital ATK, Salt Lake City Corporation, ATI Metals, US Magnesium, and the Salt Lake City Department of Airports. They have seen their injury rates fall in their tested population, and have made improvements in their processes following assessment of the physical demands of their jobs.
A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a detailed examination and evaluation designed to measure a client's safe functional/work abilities. Clients are asked to participate in various physical activities such as lifting, carrying, pushing/pulling, and tolerance for different work positions. The tasks are chosen to allow the client to simulate actual work conditions.
There are primarily three questions that are answered during these evaluations: 1. Did the client provide full effort? 2. Are the client's reports of pain and disability reliable and do they correlate with their demonstrated abilities? 3. Are they able to return to gainful employment, and if so, at what level of physical demand? Return to work decisions can also be determined using FCE testing.
The equipment used during testing is designed to accurately and reliably document full and less than full performance during testing. The results of the test allow the evaluator to make a clinical judgment regarding the client's safe maximal functional level.
Our physical and occupational therapists are musculoskeletal experts who provide on-site training in body mechanics, posture, ergonomics, nutrition and other related topics. We also observe job tasks and create customized stretching and strengthening programs to reduce injury risk at work.
Massage Therapy Services may include 15 to 20-minute stress relieving chair or table massage or longer duration massage to assist with injury management. Experienced and professional licensed massage therapists travel to the corporate location and provide skilled techniques. These may include an integration of Swedish relaxation massage, deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, sports and injury techniques, cupping therapy, and instrument assisted massage. Postural, range of motion and gentle stretching techniques may also be utilized if indicated.