The “Six W’s” of Using Ergonomics Analysis In Medical Causation Cases

Ergonomics September 16, 2015

The “Six W’s” OF Using Ergonomics Analysis In Medical Causation Cases

The Causation Analysis is a method by which trained professionals may evaluate a job for actual or potential risk factors in contested workers’ compensation cases. Here are some fast facts about Causation Analysis:

WHAT IS THE CAUSATION ANALYSIS?Who_What_When_Where_Why_How-1duj0ib

  • An ergonomics assessment requested by an employer, an attorney, a physician, or a medical case manager.
  • A tool combined with a physician examination of a worker claiming a work-related musculoskeletal disorder.
  • A resource that confirms or rules out work as a causative agent in a worker’s condition. In cases in which job risk is not evident, the question of causation shifts onto any disease processes that may be making the worker more predisposed to development of a musculoskeletal disorder.

WHY USE ERGONOMICS ASSESSMENTS IN CAUSATION CASES?

  • A growing body of empirical literature suggests that certain disease processes make a worker more predisposed to developing musculoskeletal disorders: arthritis, diabetes, hypothyroidism, obesity to name a few.

 WHEN SHOULD THE CAUSATION ANALYSIS BE DONE?

  • When a worker claims a musculoskeletal disorder such as carpal tunnel syndrome, DeQuervains Disease, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, neck or shoulder pain.
  • Before the case is accepted as compensable by the employer.
  • Before the worker is sent to the employer’s physician for evaluation.

 WHO CAN PERFORM ERGONOMICS ASSESSMENTS IN CAUSATION CASES?

  • An Occupational or Physical Therapist certified in Ergonomics Assessment.

WHERE SHOULD THE CAUSATION ANALYSIS BE DONE?

  • On the job site and preferably with the worker claiming the injury.

 HOW IS THE CAUSATION ANALYSIS DONE?

  • Analyst interviews the supervisor to collect information on the job purpose and essential functions.
  • Analyst interviews the worker/claimant to take a history of the condition and present symptoms.
  • Analyst observes the worker/claimant performing the job and this includes measuring and weighing items handled, forces and/or vibration required in tool use or moving objects, videotaping, and taking still photographs.
  • Analyst views the video and filters the data through ergonomics risk assessment tools.
  • Analyst completes a report and sends it to the physician reviewing the case to supplement their examination.

For more information on The Use of Ergonomics Assessments in Medical Causation Cases, click HERE.


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