Ergonomics Consulting FAQs

Ergonomics February 27, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Ergonomics Consulting

In today’s blog our Director of Operations, Michael Dubin, MA, PHR , CEAS, SHRM-CP will be answering some of the most frequently asked questions we receive here at The Back School surrounding ergonomics consulting.

QUESTION

Hello, I am a CEAS II and have been a consultant for about 5 years. I have recently started my own ergonomic consulting company. I am currently sub contracting with a large company, but am interested in branching out. I was wondering what legal info is required to perform work comp assessments. Do I need to have a Tax ID or NPI number. I am also wondering if and how I need to become a Preferred Network Provider. Any info or links would be helpful!

ANSWER

I would encourage you to talk to an accountant and an attorney. We do.

You said you started your own ergonomics consulting company. Did you not incorporate? Are you an LLC or a S Corp or what? Doyou not have a tax number – whether you use your own SSN or a FEIN.

Are you not carrying personal and/or business liability insurance?

We are not aware of any legal requirement to perform Worker’s Comp Assessments. If you are a clinician, whatever service you provide as part of the WC treatment plan will have to be signed off on by a physician and, thus, you would be limited by your scope of practice, which is always define by profession by individual state laws. If you are not a clinician, we don’t believe that there are any legal barriers to your doing WC work but one would think that that could potentially increase your liability as if there are medical issues involved and you are not a clinician, your recommendations – even though ergonomics is not a medical intervention – could impact/will impact their medical condition. I would be very careful here.

What do you need to become a Preferred Network Provider? No idea. I guess that would depend on what network you are discussing. You can’t bill insurance unless you are a clinician. You can direct bill a company but not insurance.

As all of this is beyond our purview as we cannot and do not and will not give legal advice. It is our strong recommendation that you pay for an hour’s time with and attorney and the same with an accountant. They will give you or help you establish the foundation you need. We have to that for our own business. There really are no short-cuts nor turnkey solutions.

But in the  long run, the investments you make upfront in making sure you’ve done everything right will pay off in the long run.

Best Wishes. Please let us know if we may be of further help to you.

QUESTION

I am a Certified Hand Therapist with an Occupational Therapy degree and am looking for a career change after 22 years in hand therapy. My second area of interest was always ergonomics. I’d like to know how one finds a job with a CEAS? Are there companies who hire these professionals to travel and evaluate job sites, or what is a typical job search for someone wanting to enter the field of ergonomic assessments? Thanks for your help.

ANSWER

Over the last several years we have seen more and more clinicians wanting to make the switch away from clinical work into ergonomics, as well as wanting to add ergonomics to the menu of services that they offer.

Yes, there are a number of companies, as well as hospitals and clinics, etc., who have people on staff who do ergonomics assessments. This can range from HR departments to safety departments, IH&S, EH&S, businesses with onsite clinics, rehab counselors, insurance companies, office furniture people, etc. The list is potentially endless but it is usually someone who adds ergonomics to their other existing job responsibilities.

There is no one easy answer to your question – what is a typical job search for someone wanting to enter the field of ergonomic assessments? As I have said, there are so many different kinds of companies now involved in incorporating ergonomics into what they do, that we really can’t give you an easy or concise answer. Further, job opportunities is really beyond our purview. A career coach I know would give you the following advice – find some places where you want to work and then research their commitment to or lack thereof of ergonomics programs or ergonomics staff. You could then either offer to bring your skills to what they are already doing or propose helping them develop their own ergonomics program. But beyond that, there is not a lot of direction we can give you.

Best wishes on your search.

Have any questions of your own? Reach out in the comments below or contact us HERE.


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