ABILITYusa: Services

  • injury ANALYSIS
  • JOB ANALYSIS
  • ErgonomicS
  • post-offer
    Testing
  • post-injury
    testing
  • Return
    to Work
  • injury
    prevention
  • education

Injury Analysis

Cost and Claims Analysis
Analysis of an organization’s injury history (injuries by position, type, cause and cost) for the previous 2-4 years provides information necessary to develop and prioritize a plan to reduce future injuries.

Comparisons with similar industries:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports injury data by type of occupation or industrial sector.  Part of the overall analysis process is to compare one’s organizational experience to national rates for like industries.

How does your organization’s injury rate compare with national rates? Click here to visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website.

Experience Modification
Another form of analysis is to review the organization’s Experience Modification, or X-Mod ratings.  The X-Mod is calculated based on loss and expense experience averaged over a rolling previous 3-4 years.  If an organization’s X-Mod is greater than 100, the workers’ compensation costs experienced exceeded premiums paid to the insurer.

In  2008-2009,  the combined loss and expense ratio for California was 112, compared with 93 in 2007, 70 in 2006 and 55 in 2004. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau makes rate recommendations to the insurance commissioner. Premium increases for workers’ compensation have been recommended to cover the recent increases in cost of claims. 

Organizations with high or increasing X-Mod rates greatly benefit their organizations by working to decrease future premiums through advanced strategies for injury and cost reduction programs.

Developing a plan:
Every organization has a set of activities directed to safety and employee injury prevention.  ABILITYusa works with each employer to integrate components of the ABILITYusa program with existing safety programs already in place. 

Prioritization of actions to be taken will almost always include incorporating employment exams and functional testing.  Employment testing is the singularly most important component of an injury prevention plan.

 

 

Job Analysis

Job Analysis is a detailed, systematic process to determine essential duties, identify specific job demands and objectively measure physical requirements of a given position in order to

  • Identify physical demands of work
  • Develop ADA and FEHA compliant employment testing,
  • Determine whether an individual who has suffered some diminished capacity is capable of performing the job with, or without, accommodation.

The job analysis process uses existing job descriptions, supervisor and employee questionnaires, direct observation and objective measurement of physical demands of work including:

Sitting, Lifting, Reaching, Kneeling, Climbing, Standing, Carrying, Walking, Crawling, Grasping, Walking, Pushing/Pulling, Squatting, Bending

Functional job analysis is the first requirement for developing ADA and FEHA compliant employment testing.  A variety of measurement devices are utilized to record forces, weights, distances and repetitions. This information assists employers to appropriately match the workers’ functional capacities with the job demands. Appropriate employee placement leads to increased productivity and a reduction in work-related injuries, absenteeism and employee turnover.  

Job analysis is an essential component of a comprehensive safety and injury prevention program.  A healthier work force creates a healthier bottom line.

Ergonomic Consultation/Intervention

Ergonomic Scissors
Self opening scissors—reduce hand strain

A healthy workforce creates a healthier bottom line.  Minimal expenditures for ergonomics can have a monumental benefit when it comes to injury prevention.   Professional ergonomic consultation can save company money and promote employee health and productivity.

The word "ERGONOMICS" originates from the Greek words for work ("ergon") and law ("nomos"). Modern industrial ergonomics focuses on the study of work performance with an emphasis on worker safety and productivity.



Roto-Max


Ergonomics is not just about buying new equipment or making big changes to the worksite.  According to the Job Accommodation Network (a federally supported program), most ergonomic modifications cost lest than $500.

Ergonomics involve looking at the larger picture.  A professional ergonomist can provide valuable guidance in equipment selection, space modification and facility planning.  Choosing a poorly designed tool (such as a tool with a poorly designed handle or requiring excessive grip forces), can cause increased injury risk, slow production and increase business costs.  Selecting the best tools is only one factor.  Other factors include how the work is completed and how the tools are used.  ABILITYusa provides ergonomic consultation services to help each company optimize production and safety.

Hydraulic lift lifts heavier materials
to more comfortable work heights.

ABILITYusa ergonomic consultants specialize is the science of ""Fitting the Job to the Worker".  We partner with employers and employees to identify functional solutions to problematic tasks or environments. 

Hog Heaven Fashion Anti-Fatigue Mat

Anti-fatigue mats reduce strain on
back, legs and feet from sustained
standing on hard surfaces.

Comprehensive ergonomic services can:
  • Reduce the frequency and severity of work-related musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Reduce lost time, and both the direct and indirect costs associated with work-place injuries
  • Optimize productivity through increased work efficiency and well being on the work force.
  • Protect employees from work-place injuries by creating safer, healthier and improved work environments.

Ergonomic professionals have insights and knowledge of resources that are available to solve issues cost effectively, reducing injuries and increasing productivity.


Post-Offer Testing

Protect employers and employees. Implement functional employment testing to assess the safety of new candidates to perform duties of the position. Work with ABILITYusa and Certified Preferred Providers who understand the regulatory and clinical requirements for effective employment testing .

  • ADA / FEHA Compliant
  • Tests Essential Physical Functions of Position
  • Provide Objective data for accommodation considerations, possible safety agreements, or possible future apportionment issues.
  • Determines whether candidates are:
    • Able
    • Unable
    • At Direct Threat of Imminent Harm

Historically, an employment test has been a physical examination administered to look at general health status. Most of these exams include only a cursory look at the employee's general fitness and are not based on assessment of specific job functions. 

ADA and FEHA compliant, employment testing involves objectively measuring an individual's ability to perform essential duty tasks. Both the employer and the employee benefit by matching the employee to a job that he/she is physically capable of performing safely.

Properly implemented and compliant functional employment testing has the following benefits:

  • Identifies physically capable employees and keeps them working by matching individuals to jobs they can safely perform;
  • Maximizes employee safety, health and morale;
  • Minimizes workplace injury and decreases both direct and indirect Workers' Compensation costs (Note: indirect costs, which are often not measured and remain undefined, can be 1 to 10 times greater than direct costs);
ABILITYusa testing helps eliminate potentially fraudulent applicants and detects at-risk employees who have significant pre-existing impairments.
  • Documents pre-existing conditions for possible future apportionment;
  • Minimizes turnover and lost time;
  • Maximizes productivity and profitability; and
  • Enables the employer to use employment laws to protect both the employer and the employee.

Post-Injury Testing

Work and Non-Work related injures can impact safety upon return to work. Non-work-related conditions could become work-related injuries unless documented.

Questions often arise as to whether an employee who has sustained a work or non-work related injury is ready to perform essential functions.  Post-Injury testing can help the physicians, risk managers, and human resource personnel in making decisions regarding progressive safe return to full duties.

Post-injury employment testing can:

  • Establish appropriate, progressive modified duty
  • Compare to post-offer/pre-hire baseline to determine realistic treatment goals
  • Compare to Functional Job Requirements to ensure that employees are safely able to resume full duties
  • Provide objective data for any applicable safe accommodations
  • Prevent non-work related injuries from becoming workplace “re-injuries”
  • Decrease workplace injury costs.

 

 


 

Employers communicate their policies regarding testing and company safety plan with treating physicians.  Testing information is objective information the physician can use to provide guides for safe duty resumption.

 

 

 

Return to Work

Work is therapeutic, thus, every effort to engage the injured worker in modified productive work tasks are essential to the worker’s strengthening and healing process. ABILITYusa assists employers in developing effective return-to-work strategies that can reduce costs and assist injured employees to return to maximal or full productive employment as soon as possible. 

These strategies can include:
  • Identification of “transitional” or modified work activities BEFORE injures occur
  • Selection of modified duties based on objective test data regarding the employees abilities (not just disabilities)
  • Employment testing provides objective data for assessment and determinationof accommodation requests
  • On-going communication of clinical progress
  • Supervisor education
  • Education of injured worker

Injury Prevention

Employers may have many spokes of the safety program in place.  ABILITYusa can assist employers in establishing all components of a new ergonomic program, or provide enhancement of an established program. 

Safety and Injury Prevention programs include:
  • Development of Policies and Procedures for hiring, transferring to new positions, and returning employees to full duty following injury, based on risks identified during objective job analysis and ADA and FEHA compliant employment testing.
  • Broad Participation in Safety  and/or Ergonomic Teams
  • Early Intervention for musculoskeletal symptoms to prevent reportable injuries.
  • On-Going Program Evaluation, Revision and Monitoring
  • Safety and Ergonomic Education and Training
  • Supervisor monitoring of safe work practices, safety agreements, follow-through with implemented safety procedures, use of protective equipment, etc
  • Early reporting of a first symptom, in order to prevent that fist symptom becoming a reportable injury.

Education

State law requires that employers take measures to relieve current issues and prevent ergonomic and musculoskeletal injuries. ABILITYusa can partner with your company to assist you and your company’s specific education needs.

ABILITYusa training programs are custom designed for each employer and are available to serve individual, departmental or company wide ergonomic training needs. Educational programs can assist employers in meeting sate-mandated regulations related to ergonomic and injury prevention training.

Our training programs include onsite evaluation and assessment, and development of customized presentation and written materials that provide the appropriate level of information and training to employees, supervisors and management.

 

 

 


Training programs emphasize "hands-on" experience, reverse demonstration and are designed to empower personal safety responsibility.  Educational handouts/materials may be provided, as applicable.

Individualized employee education is provided as an initial “first aid measure.  When employees first experience a symptom, the employer initiates a request for service.  ABILITYusa immediately provides personalized assessment and education regarding inappropriate work practices that puts the employee at risk, alternative techniques/procedures, and symptom management strategies.  Supervisors are also train to monitor and follow-up with the employee to insure that interventions are utilized effective.

Examples of Departmental or Company-Wide Training and Education Programs Include:

  • Back Injuries: Causes, Controls and Prevention
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries: Causes, Controls and Prevention
  • Work Station Ergonomics
  • Materials Handling
  • Stress Reduction
  • Body Mechanics, Posture, Stretching and Exercise

Examples of Management Training and Education Programs Include:

  • Maximized Benefits of the Employment Testing Program
  • Ergonomic Risk Reduction
  • "Train the Trainer" Work Station Ergonomics
  • "Train the Trainer" Materials Handling
  • Safety Committee/Ergonomic Team Training