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?
- 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.