How Labor Companies Can Save Buckets of Money with Early Intervention
What it is
I had you at “buckets of money” right? Do you really know what Early Intervention is?
Let me clarify. For health professionals preventing soft tissue injuries day in and day out, Early Intervention is a newer label given to our work when we provide it to a workforce. Proactive services such as functional movement assessments, posture evaluations, corrective exercise, mobility training and massage therapy may be provided at your worksite or facility by Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, Exercise Physiologists, Certified Athletic Trainers, etc.
As professionals entrusted with the care of one’s body and movement, we all have the common goal of preventing major injuries before they begin or at the very beginning when symptoms are minimal. Especially for hazard industries, we keep employees functioning pain-free at their optimal level which increases productivity (who doesn’t want that?) In addition, we correctly modify work for those who may have early signs of Musculoskeletal Disease (MSD) which will almost always avoid lost time at work (do I have your attention?)
You may still be asking, “How can this save buckets of money?”
Well, workers compensation insurance and the healthcare system cost employers a ton of money right? So preventing injuries and catching problems when they are small and treatable with first aid/massage therapy/etc (read: non-recordable) ultimately avoids the healthcare system completely. Thus, buckets of money are saved in direct medical expenses and eventually insurance premiums through lowering the Experience Modification Rates.
All this prevention is possible because our bodies function just like our vehicles. Our body has “idiot lights,” the indications that something isn’t right and needs attention. Teaching labor employees that it is OK to report initial discomfort and fatigue (idiot lights) will nearly ensure the avoidance of the healthcare (disease management) system. Early Intervention services provide an efficient method to systematically find the source of symptoms, not just treat the symptoms, by logically breaking down dysfunctional patterns and diagnosing their root cause. This may stem from repetitive motions, a mobility problem or a stability/motor control problem.
I’m asking employers to spend money up front. Yes, I am. Guess what? It’s always been a good investment on many levels to value employees, involve them in their wellbeing and challenge them to work smart and move often. Most companies talk about it, but how many put their money where their mouth is?
Let me be clear, Early Intervention is not part of a wellness program. This is beyond step-counting and paying for healthy people to continue going to the gym. This is the way to merge Health into Safety on so many levels. Early Intervention is wonderfully incorporated into the best practices for safety management to prevent musculoskeletal injury and disease. Employers may already have a safety team, Ergonomist or similar but Early Intervention and similar training methods are meant to enhance existing programs. It is a method providing access to an experienced Injury Prevention Specialist to build employee trust and provide a clear way for labor employees to take personal responsibility for their excessive fatigue, discomfort or MSD signs and symptoms.
As an employer, is your workforce worth it?
As a worker, are you worth it?
There are a handful of businesses providing quality Early Intervention services with great success, I am lucky to be one of them. With my business, Balance Biomechanics, we expect clients to reduce recordable injuries and costs associated with them by over 50% when they integrate our safety training and early intervention. Thankfully, there is a movement to raise expectations of conditioning and health in labor industries. Come join us.