Category Archives: Worker’s Compensation

The benefits of treating musculoskeletal discomfort before it becomes injury.

The Benefits of Reducing Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) Through Better Movements, Postures and Tools

The Benefits of Treating musculoskeletal discomfort before it becomes injury.
Let’s be realistic: many organizations’ production/manufacturing processes and equipment will not be changing to “fit” the worker any time soon. And even if they were, workers will still become injured. Why? Soft tissue adhesions will continue to happen due to work station alignments that can’t be customized to individual workers. MSDs will result in individuals due to historical injuries that are difficult to record, track or know about. “Proactive” ergonomic changes such as reducing steps or reducing how many times someone handles materials can inadvertently cause other worker injury risks. For example, changing the work requirement from walking to static standing can be absolutely debilitating.

What’s left out of so many employee health and safety or ergonomic programs is a a focus on the individual. A blanket ergonomic program can correct many problems, but ultimately one size fits one. A proactive program to analyze and correct poor movements for individuals as well as overall has many benefits.

Such as:

  • Focusing on and correcting poor movements ultimately reduces costs. By proactively preventing and reducing MSDs, companies save approximately $1 out of every $3 in workers’ compensation costs. By continuing to focus on and correcting poor movements everywhere in the company and reducing the MSDs, indirect costs also go down, which can be up to 20 times the cost of one reported injury. If an average cost of an MSD episode without surgery costs $12,000.00, indirect costs will be dramatically higher!
  • Correct human movements boost productivity. Posture and movement solutions improve productivity by reducing muscle fatigue, especially towards the latter half of the work day. Optimal movement patterns need less muscle exertion, resulting in better efficiency of movement and a better quality product produced.
  • To emphasize, correct human movements improve product quality. Non-efficient movements lead to fatigued workers. This creates two issues: 1), increased risk for an injury due to lack of concentration, and 2), decreased quality of product made. The latter now delves into indirect costs rising.
  • Proactive programs to resolve movement-related discomforts create better employee/employer relations. Employees do notice when their employer takes action to foster their health and safety. And they certainly know when they feel better! And feeling better directly as a result of an employer-sponsored, employee-centric program builds a sense of satisfaction, loyalty and commitment of the company as a whole to build better products and to stay happily engaged in the process. Less employee turnover means less dollars spent on the hiring process and re-training. Less job-related fatigue and discomfort means less time away from work, less shifts that have to be covered, less disruption overall.
  • Early symptom intervention programs cultivate better safety practices. Safety is obviously a core value these days. As proactive care programs permeate a company’s culture, they increase all employees’ education on health and safety, demonstrate the value the company places on its employees, and improve employee self-esteem. It’s not the product or your customers that is your most important asset. It’s your employees. And caring for them in this way has an exceptional ROI.

Reducing Workers’ Comp Claims: A Radio Interview

Mike Switzer of the SC Business Review interviews Lori Peacock, CEO of Physical Performance Solutions, on the often overlooked and unique contributors to employee discomfort—including physical fitness—and how to optimize management of and provide relief for those factors.

Serving the textile industry

Press Release: Physical Performance Solutions Now Servicing the Textile Industry

Serving the textile industryFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 8, 2018

Contact:  Lori Peacock, Physical Performance Solutions, LLC
lpeacock@physicalperformancesolutions.com
803-716-9167

Physical Performance Solutions Now Servicing the Textile Industry

Aiken, SC – Physical Performance Solutions, LLC announced today that it has added textiles to its growing list of industries served. The company offers Early Symptom Intervention programs to resolve employee discomfort before more serious injury, pain or cost accrues for employees and the companies for which they work.

“Although the textile industry is unique in what it does, employee discomfort can be found in just about any industry,” said Lori Peacock, president of Physical Performance Solutions. “Our proven, comprehensive process will bring relief to textile employees and employers alike.”

Physical Performance Solutions provides onsite services that analyze, diagnose and treat employee health issues before they escalate. Analysis may consist of interviews with employees, observation of workstation layouts and uses, job rotation review, and hands-on examination of muscle movement.

“Our mission is to pursue and utilize the best means available in technology, manual therapies, and movement re-training to empower our clients,” Ms. Peacock added. “We will always provide superior and customized attention to all of our clients so that they in turn may achieve their own missions.”

Industries currently served by the company include food processing, aerospace, automotive, and electrical component manufacturing.

ABOUT PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE SOLUTIONS
Physical Performance Solutions, LLC, based in Aiken, South Carolina, is a leader in evidence-based biomechanics, offering cutting edge, cost effective and proactive strategies for reducing worker discomfort and injury in manufacturing and corporate environments. Our “one solution fits one” approach ensures the highest quality care for individual employees while dramatically reducing risk and safety issues for their employers. Learn more at www.PhysicalPerformanceSolutions.com.

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As Corporate Counsel, the Best Way to Lower Workers’ Comp Costs

There’s a fantastic podcast out there called Workers Comp Matters, hosted by attorneys Alan and Judson Pierce as part of the Legal Talk Network.  The podcast covers legal issues surrounding worker’s compensation claims, shares recent rulings, and discusses broad areas of the applicable law, including contracts, constitutional issues, changes brought on by the current administration, and more.  I highly recommend it.

Staying abreast of all the legal ins and outs of worker’s compensation claims is mandatory in today’s business environment.  Of course the best strategy of all is to forestall claims before they’re filed. As corporate counsel, part of your job is to advise your executive team on ways to avoid these sorts of legal entanglements.  What should be posted?  What should leadership say and not say to employees?  What are the company’s record keeping requirements, which are designed to protect both the employer and the employee? Are they being followed?  Should a work injury occur, what are the exact steps managers should take?

As you know, some of these measures are designed to prevent workplace injuries before they happen, which is the best form of protection.  Inadequate training, supervision, or communication can all result in poor outcomes, and those areas are the employer’s responsibility to design well, oversee and correct.

What can an employer do to mitigate employee discomfort before it turns into a worker’s compensation claim?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, a significant percentage of workers in private industry had multiple days out of work due to soreness and pain.  What if employers could use this statistic to catch worker’s comp cases before they were actually filed?

By providing on-site discomfort mitigation services to employees, employers can help employees manage their discomfort or even eliminate it completely, keep them safer and focused on their jobs, and reduce not just the costs associated with worker’s compensation claims, but all the other costs associated with poor employee health.

Take, for example, the case of Monmouth Medical Center in Lakewood, NJ, where a change in internal employee healthcare—something you’d think a hospital would be especially good at—resulted in a significant reduction in cases, days out of work, and all of the associated costs.  In fact, costs were reduced by a factor of almost ten.

What was the change?  A “gatekeeper” team of an occupational physician and a worker’s comp specialist was put in place to track every injury that took place and run it to ground.  With intense focus on detail and data tracking and analysis, Monmouth was able to make giant strides in its battle to care for employees in a meaningful way and reduce the costs of injury to both the hospital and its employees.

Could your organization benefit from a more fully featured employee care program? Physical Performance Solutions can provide a free, on-site analysis to explore the possibilities.

Enhance Your Culture of Caring for Employees

A Possible Component to Your “Culture of Caring”

A recent EHS Today article by Janice Berthold of Heffernan Insurance discusses the ways companies have reduced workers’ compensation insurance claims by demonstrating care for their employees in various ways.

It’s not difficult to argue that companies should care for the people they employ, and any attempts to demonstrate true care are to be lauded. What corporate leaders may not know is how the work their employees do every day affects them.

Does the line worker talk to her boss or her boss’ boss about the pain in her hands, or does she keep it to herself? Is she missing sleep because of that pain, endangering her own safety both at work and at home, and also while traveling between the two? Is her dire need to keep her job stopping her from taking time off to go see a doctor and care for herself, or even to visit the on-site nurse?

All those things might possibly be true, are relatively hard to discern without very candid conversations, and are therefore often dismissed instead of being pursued for resolution.

As a company leader, if you are seriously dialoguing with your employees, you may already have put in place some solutions which have been helpful, and for that, you should be congratulated. Here’s another strategy that may prove fruitful for you: it’s called “on-site pre-injury discomfort mitigation,” or, early intervention.

Through on-site delivery of expert discomfort/pain mitigation treatments consisting of advanced ergonomic assessment, movement retraining, and targeted massage therapies, employees can pause, receive personalized treatment, and return to work refreshed; hence, less physical and mental fatigue, and a better ability to focus on job tasks.

Providing employees with a regularly scheduled on-site resource that helps reduce their discomfort makes them feel cared for because they are being cared for! Employees look forward to that special day or two of the week when they know they will receive their treatment and relief.

Although it sounds costly to implement, this strategy pays for itself many times over through cost reductions related to workers’ compensation claims, and is a boon to the on-staff occupational nurse seeking innovative ways to reduce health and safety issues.

If you’d like to find out how implementing an on-site discomfort mitigation program would benefit your employees and your company, give us a call at 888-716-2777.

Control-Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve

Inconsistent with the Application of Your Processes?

CONSISTENT APPLICATION OF YOUR COMPANY PROCESSES WILL LOWER RISK OF WORKER INJURY

We use the word “consistent” a lot. It’s an adjective that can describe attributes in humans, animals, machinery, work tasks, decisions, and so on.
In general, businesses strive to be more consistent: with tasks, communication, routines, and the use of company processes. Sometimes, however, we don’t realize how the inconsistent use of those processes is actually increasing the risk for a worker injury, soft tissue injury, or work accident. Any of these outcomes obviously hamper productivity and increase costs in multiple areas. That’s not at all what we hoped to achieve with our processes!
Here’s an example: you’re in a hurry, pressured to complete a job. You’ve made a decision to change out a drill on a workstation. Harmless, you think. The workers know how to use all types of drills. So, to speed things along, you opt not to consult with the ergonomics team so they can ascertain how the new drill will impact that work station ergonomically, even though you know you’re supposed to. The whole process will take too long, and this drill is necessary at this work station immediately. One week after making that decision, a worker sustains a low back injury from using that new drill. The awkward posture and torque value with the body in such an awkward position created a lumbar strain, causing the worker to lose days from work.
The financial costs? Take a look at this table and run a quick mental calculation:

The costs of Inconsistently applied processes

Expensive! No?
In any facet of life, consistent action yields consistent results.
In business, the performance of a process allows us to know if the process itself is working or not. Consistency in performing or following processes or standards allows for the measurement of the efficacy of those processes. Are they working as planned? If they’re not, the steps are ordered enough to locate mistakes and correct them. Without order and follow up observation of the performance of the ordered steps, chaos and speculation result, without a solid determination and direction toward improving outcomes.
Another important aspect of disciplining ourselves to be consistent in a work process is that it develops a type of responsibility. “Accountability,” the new buzz word, is really taking the responsibility to do those things that seem mundane. Sometimes these are such small things that we fall into the pit of thinking they couldn’t possibly matter in the long run. When too many individuals have convinced themselves to take that approach (unbeknownst to each other), multiple problems arise in the very process that was designed to assist us in identifying problems and solving them.
Anything worthwhile takes time and self-discipline. Many processes can appear to take too long, or to hamper productivity or work flow. However, Lean programs and Six Sigma show time after time that when the process is followed, results are more reliable, and answers can come faster. From the overall vision and mission of a company down to the simple tasks in a production line, all come together. Happy end users, happy employees. It’s a win-win proposition. So, the next time you’re tempted to skip a step in a process, think again. It has a bigger impact than you know.

Welcome to the Physical Performance Solutions Blog!

We understand that companies face challenges related to employee health and wellbeing that resonate across the organization: safety, product quality, employee engagement/attrition and finance.

At Physical Performance Solutions, we’ve demonstrated our ability to resolve employee discomfort before they become injuries, thus improving employees’ ability to work more safely and effectively both on the job and at home.

Through our onsite service programs, we can help your company dramatically reduce OSHA recordable injuries and workers’ compensation costs. Our proprietary data collection system will provide your key executives and managers with new insights regarding operations.

Via this blog, we will provide educational information to:

  • Help employees avoid movement-related discomfort and injury
  • Help safety officers respond faster and more effectively to issues
  • Help employers create better employee engagement and retention
  • Provide customized pain treatment for resolving employee discomfort before it becomes an injury
  • Outline specific strategies for reducing workers compensation costs and risk
  • Protect product quality through maintaining a healthy workforce

We’ll also share case studies of methods we’ve used and results we’ve achieved with corporate clients large and small.

At Physical Performance Solutions, we use innovative technology, custom programs, manual therapies, and movement re-training to empower both employees and employers.To get our monthly digest of blog posts, please join our community by signing up for our newsletter below.