Worksite Medicine Services offered by Northern Michigan Sports Medicine
It is no secret that education is one of the best ways to change behavior. Seminars we have delivered in the past have included Back Injury Prevention, Body Mechanic Instruction, Prevention of Repetitive Strain Injuries, Stretching in the Work Place, and Beginning and Maintaining Exercise Programs. The content of our seminars varies based on the needs of our clients. When planning a seminar, our goal is to deliver information which can be directly applied to a given work place setting. The sessions are delivered based on audience needs and encourage active participation and learning. Our primary goal is to keep all of our seminars interactive and informative.
A job analysis, or job task analysis, is an evaluation which is intended to quantify the demands of a particular job. Its purpose is to provide data which can be used to assess the safety of a particular job, to match employees to various jobs, or to assist in the writing of job descriptions. Measures may include: cycle time, repetitions required per time period, lifting requirements, and duration of standing, sitting, or walking.
Using information from a job description or the data obtained from a job analysis, we are able to develop physical capability tests for new employees. For example, a past client had all new-hires start at one of 6 jobs in their processing plant. A job analysis was performed on each of the 6 jobs, and this information was used to develop specific guidelines which the employee must satisfy to be placed in a given position. It was determined that the maximum amount of weight which needed to be lifted between the waist and the shoulders was 15 pounds. Therefore, the prospective employee was required to demonstrate an ability to lift 15 pounds from waist to shoulder level. In addition, the prospective employee had to perform the lift with proper body mechanics and safe lifting technique.
Ergonomics is simply the fitting of a work environment to the person using that environment. This assessment uses information from disciplines such as physiology, anatomy, physics, and engineering to reduce musculoskeletal fatigue and injury rates. Ergonomic assessments take place after objective information about a job has been gathered, either from a job description or job analysis. Our evaluator performs several tasks after observing a particular job. They identify which components of a job may be contributing to injuries associated with that job. They make suggestions as to which physical traits may be best suited to that particular job (height, overall strength, etc.). The evaluator makes recommendations regarding which parts of the job should be modified by changing the work environment in some way.
Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE’s)
The objective of this specific type of evaluation is to determine the type and amount of work an employee can safely execute. FCE’s are typically performed after an employee has been out of work for some amount of time due to a health-related problem. Physicians commonly use this test as a way to gauge whether or not an individual can safely return to their previous work activities. Information gathered from an FCE can also be used to temporarily place an employee at a different position in the workplace.
Oftentimes, employees are caught between being completely off the job due to injury and returning to work without restriction. The purpose of a Return-to-Work evaluation is to determine in what capacity an employee can return to work. While it is apparent that there is a large gap between being 100% able to work and not being able to work at all, individuals are oftentimes kept completely off work “to be on the safe side”. The advantage of a Return-to-Work evaluation is that the information it provides can help an employer, workers’ compensation carrier, and/or physician decide if and at what capacity an employee is ready to return to work.
Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services
Northern Michigan Sports Medicine Center is an outpatient facility which provides physical therapy, occupational therapy, aquatic therapy, and athletic training services. We specialize in athletic and worksite injury rehabilitation. In 1987, Chuck Smith, PT and owner, started Northern Michigan Sports Medicine Center with the commitment to provide the highest quality care with a strong focus on patient satisfaction.