By: Laura Wenger, PT, DPT
Work injuries are problematic for employees and employers alike. The truth is, no one wants to get injured on the job. The employee wants to be healthy and participate in work and leisurely activities, and the employer wants to ensure a safe, healthy and productive work environment.
At Rakita Tomsic, we completely agree. One of the unique services that we offer to keep both the employee and employer protected and to maintain a strong workforce is the physical assessment of potential employees before they are hired. The WorkSTEPS program tests the prospective employee to determine if they can safely perform the job tasks, as well as have them complete a musculoskeletal exam to show any undetected weaknesses that may directly lead to injury within the scope of the job tasks.
Another benefit of the WorkSTEPS program is that if an employee does get injured on the job, we have a background of the job requirements and pre-existing levels of function that the employee needs to return to. We can complete the rehabilitation in our office, and assist the physician in lifting restrictions and safety measures so that the employee may return to their job safely.
This program has shown work injury reductions up to 50 percent in the first year of use, with continued reduction thereafter.1 Less injury means a happier employee, as well as a stronger workforce and no interruption in production.
Our physical therapist, Beth Austin, PT, attended an annual WorkSTEPS conference last September to learn about updates to these carefully designed assessments. She came back and shared a wealth of information with our physical therapists so that we are up-to-date with the latest protocols when we administer evaluations.
We would like to thank Beth for taking a weekend to immerse herself in the world of WorkSTEPS, and for taking such great and thorough notes so that she could share her knowledge with us! We are well prepared through the use of this valuable program to assist any employer and/or employee with mitigating and minimizing on-the-job injuries, thereby helping them saving money on worker’s comp costs.
If you are an employer and are looking for ways to appropriately assess a new hire’s capacity to safely perform their essential job functions, or want to know how to best manage an employee’s injury, please call us to discuss the WorkSTEPS program and how Rakita Tomsic Physical Therapy can help.
1 •WorkSTEPS. 2012. Available at www.worksteps.com. Accessed Oct 24, 2014.