In the June edition of NATA News, Briotix Health's injury prevention services delivered to utility workers who are responding to natural disasters was examined and celebrated for the use of athletic trainers and athletic training in a new way.
As originally published in the June 2019 NATA News, the membership magazine for the National Athletic Trainer's Association, author Kim Diggs writes:
Regionally, Americans have been accustomed to preparing for a specific natural disaster each year. On the West Coast, primarily in California, residents prepare for wildfires. In the Southwest many prepare for tornadoes, Along the East Coast and Southeast Coast, natives share war stories of that legendary hurricane. As the debris settles after these events and utility companies are called to the scene, there is one company, powered by athletic trainers, that is brought in to prevent injuries and ensure the safety of the site.
Briotix Health, the result of a recent merger between Briotix and InSite Health, has been preventing injuries for over 20 years. The merger brought together two companies that specialize in musculoskeletal injury prevention, ergonomics, and industrial sports medicine. The merger united a broad professional team of athletic trainers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and ergonomists.
"Briotix's main focus is on prevention, early discomfort management, ergonomics, stretch and strengthening programs, and body mechanics to promote a healthy workforce in both the office and industrial settings," said Kim Hansen, LAT, ATC, CES, solutions advisor for Briotix Health.
Tony Kaczkowski, ATC, MHA, MLS, founded InSite Health, an industrial sports medicine company. While many ATs aim to prevent injuries in sport, Kaczkowski saw "lots of injuries in the everyday man" and aimed to help, Hansen said.
The merger filled a need of assistance to a population that often goes overlooked.
"The main motivation - it's honestly a passion of all ATs who work with us share - we want to help people," Hansen said. "We want to help the everyday man and woman. We want them to enjoy their life without all of the aches and pains of the job. One dad said "I haven't picked up my baby in months from his crib due to my low back. [The athletic trainer] helped me and I was finally able to pick him up for the first time in months."
In order to get buy-in from utility companies, Kaczkowski decided to take a hands-on approach, showing up to sites and offering his services without prior request.
"Tony just started showing up and helping people," Hansen said. "And when they saw the benefits, it spoke for itself. It's a self-marketed program. It doesn't require much because of the return on investment that these companies get sustains the programs and they get more than their money's worth back. Additionally, the employees, when they see us and get immediate relief, they market internally and tell their buddies how they got their aches and pains relieved."
Responding to companies in need of assistance following a natural disaster is just one of the ways Briotix Health aids the average man or woman. In order to properly respond to these requests, the ATs, PTs, and Ergonomists of Briotix Health fly from site to site when natural disasters strike around the world.
To fulfill the scope of the job, those in leadership go through a selection process that varies based on the relationship with the client and the scope of the project to decide who to deploy to each site in need.
"As a company, we look at who has the availability and will have the least impact on their current location if they respond to storm coverage, and who is acclimated with that client," said Mark Sniadecki, LAT, client manager for Briotix Health. "We have a discussion with our teams to see who can go without negatively impacting our other clients... We don't make someone do anything they aren't comfortable with."
Once they're on site, the ATs monitor the safety of the situation and ensure utility workers are approaching their jobs in a manner that won't exacerbate existing injuries or cause new ones.
"Storm and fire restoration places higher demand and hours of the clients we service," said Sniadecki. "The utility employees have great demand to get services running and often don't take time to address their personal aches and pains. We review ergonomics, job coaching, and address their physical concerns in the field."
Download the remainder of the article now to learn more about how Briotix Health is helping those who are risking their physical health to deliver natural disaster relief.