How to approach an employer who you know needs an ergonomist
An Industrial Therapy Physical Therapist sent this question: “I have had a number of recent clients from a local electronics/medical facility. I am quite sure that the assembly line work environment is responsible for these patients, as they are coming under worker’s comp referrals, but I want to try and speak directly to the company. Is there a good or proper way to approach an employer who you know needs an ergonomist, and yet who also likely knows they have a problem that they’re not dealing with? They are multi-national, big fish, but aren’t dealing with some serious issues.”
1. Is the company self insured for worker’s comp or do they have insurance? Sometimes the insurance company or the 3rd party manager of their self insurance fund is the most interested because of $$$$.
2. Where do your referrals come from? First you might want to talk to someone in the insurance, claims management area about speeding the return to work of your current patients and reducing the risk to decrease future claims.
3. At the company you may want to check with any or all of the following: Safety manager, Risk manager, Human Resources, Industrial Hygiene, Personnel Dept .
4. Ask your patients the names of the above people. Maybe some of them can introduce you to the right person in the company.
Hope this helps.
I also have a potential large client who knows there is a problem but wants data to prove to him that ergonomic analysis will identify the problem and be cost effective in finding solutions. I have shared some of my data from previous work that reduced medical cost one million per year (company of 600 employees) but he insists we need larger companies to compare to.
One option is to visit the OSHA website, http://www.osha.gov and enter Ergonomics Success Stories in the search bar. This will send you to a location on their site which lists companies (many large corporations such as L.L.Bean and Honda) that have implemented programs and best practices with great success.