Aggressively managing safety in your warehouse or construction site means more money on your bottom line in the long-term. When preventing injuries fails, responding to job site incidents requires an immediate response to help triage employees and better manage workers compensation claims and expenses. Around 80% of all job-related incidents are musculoskeletal sprains and strains. Having an onsite athletic trainer armed with the latest telemedicine technology can eliminate costly ER runs by triaging the injury in real-time. Getting employees back to work is critical; an onsite athletic trainer can cut down on OSHA reported events, reduce unnecessary ER trips, and provide clinical support to get your key employees back on the job.
How Can an Athletic Trainer Help Your Company Cut Down on OSHA Reported Events and Workers Comp Claims
In many ways, athletic trainers are the perfect onsite professional for job safety. These professionals are trained in human physical performance, studying physiology, biomechanics, and prevention of injury in athletes.
The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) suggests the benefits of having these professionals on the job site. NATA says athletic trainers can provide:
- Analysis and remedy of ergonomic stressors that cause repetition injuries. They can identify the root cause of work-related physical problems that can lead to injuries caused by overuse. The athletic trainer can suggest changes to a workstation that will keep employees from suffering physical stressors than can lead to a workers compensation claim.
- Development of wellness programs that can lessen corporate healthcare costs. Teaching employees healthier lifestyles like leading smoking cessation programs or starting company sports leagues will help keep your employees fitter, healthier, and more productive.
- Nutrition education to help lessen obesity and increase health has shown to significantly lessen healthcare costs.
- Physical readiness and hardiness can benefit your organization by helping workers better prepare for the physicality that comes from an occupational setting. Using some of the same techniques leveraged by sports athletes such as warming up, safety, and intensity can help workers better protect themselves for manual work.
- Safety training and injury prevention is imperative in all occupational fields and the athletic trainer can spearhead these programs, including machine guarding and ear and eye protection. They can also develop pre-shift exercise programs and monitor and intervene before a musculoskeletal disorder causes an OSHA-worthy incident.
Return to work assessments that can be done onsite, lessening the time employees spend traveling to a physician’s office. Early return to work programs is an effective way to cut costs while improving employee productivity. One study stated:
The employer benefits from reduced direct costs, such as lost productivity, in addition to avoidance of indirect costs such as overtime, litigation, payment of replacement workers and hiring and/or training costs. The employee returning to work recovers faster, therefore re-establishing his/her status as a wage earner and contributing member of the community. The worker’s self-esteem also increases as he/she realizes the employer values his/her contributions, thus reducing the likelihood of return medical visits.
While having an athletic trainer on site isn’t anything new, adding telemedicine technology to the mix will only improve the effectiveness of these clinical professionals.
Survey Shows Value of Athletic Trainers in Occupational Work Settings
A study by the NATA suggests that employing an athletic trainer onsite in occupational work settings can “decrease company healthcare costs through injury prevention and injury management programs.” These professionals can respond to onsite job injuries, help with physical therapy to improve worker outcomes, and monitor the workplace for OSHA safety standards.
Athletic trainers can apply their skills in designing injury prevention and return-to-work programs to keep workers on the job, reduce workers comp and healthcare claims, lessen insurance costs, and keep employees working.
The NATA survey of companies in occupational work settings showed clear benefits of engaging onsite athletic trainers:
- 100% of the companies surveyed said that having an onsite athletic trainer yielded a positive ROI in reduced healthcare costs.
- 80% of the companies quantified the ROI as roughly a $3 gain for every $1 invested.
- Over 85% reported that workplace injuries and workers comp claims dropped by 25% within six months to one year.
- Over 90% of the companies surveyed said employee days away from work decreased by 25% after a safety incident occurred.
- Nearly one-half said their ER costs dropped by 50% or higher.
The companies used the athletic trainers in a variety of ways, from triaging injuries to planning safety training. The survey showed, in addition to providing first response for injury triage:
- 97% used athletic trainers to create and deploy safety and injury prevention education programs to their employees.
- 90% provided wellness and health programs.
- 81% provided ergonomic assessments and programming.
- Other activities included stretching programs, First Aid and CRP, return-to-work programs, fitness, nutrition, work hardening, health risk assessments, pre-employment physicals, case management, and functional capacity evaluations.
These findings show that workplace athletic trainers are an important and cost-effective addition to any health and safety team. However, the effectiveness of these professionals is heightened when they have access to a telemedicine application like OrthoLive.
How Can Telemedicine Improve The Effectiveness of an Onsite Athletic Trainer?
OrthoLive’s telemedicine application uses digital technology to connect a physician to your onsite athletic trainer. While some injuries obviously necessitate an urgent response, the majority of most workplace injuries are sprains, falls, or other muscle and joint-related injuries. In the event of a workplace injury, instead of making a costly trip to the emergency room, the athletic trainer can immediately respond and triage the injured worker with the support of an orthopedic physician. OrthoLive can also provide athletic trainers as an outsourced third-party resource that is trained to use the OrthoLive application to respond to workplace safety issues. Our work takes us to large construction job sites and warehouses, providing roaming athletic trainers to help triage injured workers. This not only cuts down on the cost of OSHA reported events and workers compensation premiums, but also reduces costly ER trips.
Providing onsite and on-call athletic trainers to companies means that these professionals can leverage our proven telehealth application to immediately respond with a trained clinical professional to keep your employees safer and improve your bottom line.
Contact us today to find out how we can help cut down on OSHA reported events.