The WHS Healthy Worker Pyramid (Part 3) – Reduce Repetitive Injuries: A Positive Approach

Work at the production facility was physically demanding, but the employees enjoyed their work. Because of the amount of “hands-on” work, it was accepted that there would be a certain number of strain injuries each year. The employer had tried more ergonomic tools and had worked to support employees. Unfortunately, once a strain injury flared up, employees had to take time off for it to recover. This generated OSHA recordable incidents and the need for reactive care. Reactive care is the most expensive level of care in the WHS Healthy Worker PyramidSM. It’s also the level of care that has the narrowest scope of impact (a single injury and a single employee). It wasn’t that the employees intended to injure themselves. No, they worked hard to meet production quotas. Despite their best efforts to remain healthy, injuries occurred. It also wasn’t that the employer didn’t care. The employer wanted to prevent the injuries, but couldn’t figure out how.

Enter the RIP Program SM

The RIP Program is Work Health Solutions’ Repetitive Injury Prevention Program. The RIP Program consists of accuscope treatments, trigger point therapies, and other similar modalities aimed at early interventions in strains and sprains. The early interventions not only prevent the injuries from worsening, but they also actively heal the injuries.

Intervention Before Injury

In the occupational health setting, the RIP ProgramSM allows intervention at the first-aid level. This is before an OSHA recordable injury has occurred. The Program can be implemented in nearly any location, including production plants, agricultural facilities and unimproved, outdoor locations. When the program is implemented, the first-aid level care prevents injuries from worsening. It also prevents lost time incidents. It keeps employees happier and healthier, and it saves employers money.

In one deployment of the RIP ProgramSM, the Work Health Solutions team was able to reduce recordable injuries by 50% within three months of the program start. In that three-month period, the employer estimated that the overall savings directly attributable to the program were over $270,000—even after accounting for the program costs. The EHS Coordinator said,

“I believe that the numbers speak for themselves. Work Health Solutions delivered excellent, quality healthcare to our company.”

Reduced Repetitive Injuries

Massive cost savings and a huge reduction in recordable injuries is a major program benefit. In addition, the program was incredibly successful with the employees themselves. Employees receiving services made comments such as, “Keep it up, your work is amazing!” Moreover, they told their employers, “Bring them back again!” and “Continue with their service if at all possible!” Why did the employees have this positive response? It is because our preventative medicine staff was able to address minor issues early. Potential injuries were addressed before they caused employees pain and discomfort. Employees healed before they lost work time and productivity. These were employees who had never previously commented on occupational healthcare that they received. These employees became vocal, outspoken proponents of the benefits of preventative care, and the RIP ProgramSM. Their embrace of the program started within just a few months of program launch.

The RIP Program SM is just one example of the proactive care component of our WHS Healthy Worker Pyramid SM.  We provide a comprehensive occupational health service that addresses all of our clients’ needs, to produce healthier, more productive, more cost-effective workplaces.  Contact us more to find out how you too can say RIP to your workplace repetitive injuries.

 

Dean Frieders

Dean Frieders

Chief Solutions Officer