Often, the involvement of a prevention specialist is spurred by a workplace incident of a physical nature. An employee—or several employees—are experiencing physical symptoms, so a specialist is brought into the company to implement a safety initiative.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than half of all work-related absences happen as a result of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs—defined as “sprains or strains resulting from overexertion and lifting”—are a physical indicator of workplace risk.
In order to effectively address physical risks within the workplace, a Briotix onsite prevention specialist will spend extensive time and effort on site with employees during their work hours. Briotix professionals will ensure they have a deep understanding of the work environment and job requirements for each professional. What movements does this job require? With what regularity are these movements being made? What equipment is being used? How is the work station arranged? Without this information, it can be very difficult to effectively address physical indicators of risk.
This immersive time in the workplace allows a Briotix specialist to recommend useful changes to the equipment, the arrangement of the work environment and the work practice itself.
“For optimal performance, we must have a work environment that supports our physical capabilities to do the work,” says Julie Landis, Vice President of Business Development at Briotix. “This includes our sense of well being and general health as well as being provided with the tools and workplace design that support our success.”
Briotix prevention specialists understand the importance of a functional and safe workplace and they know how to adapt a worker’s environment to make it more comfortable. Our specialists also have a deep understanding of the physical science of anatomy and injury, which informs the way they develop safety initiatives and the improvements they make to work practice and environment.
Another way Briotix prevention specialists can address physical risks in the workplace is with ergonomic evaluations. Specialists can visit individual employees at their workstations to identify risk factors and educate the individual on safe postures and habits. These evaluations also have the added benefit of providing the employer with data on staff discomfort. Ergonomic evaluations can be completed in a variety of ways, from a simple, sweep-style evaluation of an entire department or floor to more individualized and in-depth assessments of particular stations or employees.
The physical indicators of workplace risk are rarely the ones that go unaddressed, as these are the most obvious and clear. Physical indicators are the tangible, visible signs of risk and any worthy prevention specialist will be able to effectively address this focus area. But addressing physical risks without addressing the other two indicators—cognitive and organizational—is not the most effective way to implement a safety program in the workplace.
This is what separates a Briotix specialist from other professionals: not the ability to effectively address physical workplace risk, but the ability to develop a comprehensive safety initiative that also addresses physical risks as part of the whole risk management process, in combination with cognitive and organizational factors.
For more information about the benefits of a multidisciplinary approach to risk management, see this Briotix white paper: The Future of Musculoskeletal Health.