Ergonomics and Proper Body Mechanics
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LVHN Occupational Medicine provides a variety of services that have proven to reduce workplace injury. Whether the work environment has heavy physical demands, repetitive motion, or prolonged sedentary positions, there are programs that can help your employees’ physical health and reduce the chance of injury.
Ergonomic/Body mechanics assessment
A formal ergonomic assessment of a work place or specific area is often the most productive and strategic way to begin any injury prevention program. Each assessment is customized for the company’s unique environment and can range in scope from full facility to specific work areas, work functions or workstation. No matter the specific assessment needed, each involves key steps, including:
Injury prevention training/Workplace stretch program
Training sessions are a time-tested method of improving employees’ health and safety education. To effectively implement a training program, it’s important to strategize and customize it to the specific needs, target audience, and implementation strategy that will best benefit your employees.
Training programs can be a train-the-trainer format or directed to employees or supervisors respectively. They are recommended to be done in an onsite, real-world setting for better demonstration purposes, but classroom style can be accommodated. Each session runs approximately 45 minutes based on level of questions and includes: Educational presentation, demonstration of proper techniques, discussion of implementation strategies for a successful program, and Q&A.
Office workstation assessment
It is often the jobs involving heavier physical activity that are the focus of injury prevention programs. But there are a number of injuries and conditions that are the result of exposure to an office work environment over a period of time. Because every individual’s work station has variables, a one-on-one assessment service is available. Each individual’s workstation is reviewed by an ergonomics professional. The review includes an employee interview, work observation and measurements as well as employee education and instruction.
Physical Capabilities test/Pre-work Screen
Physical Capabilities testing (a.k.a. Pre-work screening) is a series of tasks designed to assess a worker’s ability to perform the physical demands of the job prior to starting. The primary reason for screening is to hire workers who can safely perform the required tasks, but other benefits include: assurance of fair hiring practices, promotion of safety, reduction of injury, and improved efficiency.
Testing is performed in coordination with LVHN’s Rehabilitation and Fitness departments. The specific test used can be:
- Established by the employer
- A standard test with company-defined weight limits
- A custom-designed test developed by an LVHN Occupational Medicine expert, based on the company’s written job description.
Note: To assure that the screen is representative of the actual job demands, job description(s) must exist and be provided to the LVHN Occupational Medicine location prior to the performance of the test. Clinical assistance in developing functional job descriptions can be obtained.
Functional job description creation
Creation of functional job descriptions is an important step in any injury prevention program. A functional job description goes beyond a typical job description in that it includes specific, critical, physical demands associated with the job. Weight classifications, limits and essential skills are some of the details that are included.
LVHN can provide the guidance of an occupational therapist certified in the creation of functional job descriptions. In addition to the physical analysis and expertise, the certified therapist will also lead the validation process, ensuring Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission compliance.
Onsite early intervention service
An early intervention program involves an LVHN Occupational Medicine clinician onsite on a regular schedule. This service usually builds with the clinician engaging and interacting with employees to assess concerns or early warning signs they may be experiencing. It allows the clinician to answer questions and provide advice or direction that can prevent conditions from escalating. This service is especially beneficial in situations where an employee may be hesitant to speak to a manager about their health or physical concern. Early intervention typically occurs in increments of one or two hours per visit with visits occurring anywhere from once per week to once per month.
For more information about LVHN Occupational Medicine services, contact us at HealthWorks@lvhn.org or call Scott Appnel at 610-969-2972.