When finding a prevention specialist for your company, there are many things to consider, one of which is a candidate’s accreditation. Licenses can provide employers with information about a candidate’s background, education, and experience. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, exercise physiologists, engineers, kinesiologists—most anyone who is qualified to hold the position of onsite prevention specialist will hold at least one official, nationally-recognized license.
While this type of certification can help to inform an employer’s search process, it’s important to be aware that the license isn’t everything. Having a license to practice physical therapy, or occupational therapy, or nursing, does not mean a candidate will excel in the position of onsite prevention specialist. It simply means that the professional has received the appropriate educational training in their field. While this education can be integral to a provider’s success, it is not the only component of an effective onsite prevention specialist.
More important than a license or certification is a professional’s ability to build prevention programs that address three primary risk areas: physical (ergonomic), cognitive (behavioral), and organizational (cultural). Often, fully-licensed professionals might have experience designing programs that address one or two of these factors, but finding a prevention specialist who can deliver in all three areas is a little more difficult, as Briotix founder Bob Patterson explains:
“This complete package is difficult to find in the marketplace,” says Patterson. “Briotix has systematized the training and onboarding process of its providers to optimize performance across the physical, cognitive, and organizational realms. The difference with our professionals is the ability to execute strategy in all three of these dimensions—not just one or two of them.”
It is important for a provider to have experience in these three dimensions because these are the three indicators that drive injury risk. When a prevention specialist has a deep understanding of the physical and cognitive condition of the employee, as well as the their workplace environment (the organizational indicator), safety initiatives are far more likely to succeed. Interventions that utilize a prevention specialist with training in these three areas have been proven to reduce injuries and lost work days.
For example, say a company hires a licensed professional that has a deep understanding of the physical components of risk management. They can identify ergonomic risk and they understand how to change the equipment or work environment to make it safer. They even know what employees need to do to heal and stay healthy. This knowledge is important, but it’s virtually useless unless the provider knows how to effectively impart that information to the employee.
To provide effective healing advice and job coaching for an employee, a provider must understand the employee’s mental state and how they relate to their employer and workplace. Only by adding an understanding of these cognitive and organizational indicators to their physical understanding can a provider truly affect change for a safer and more injury-free workplace.
For more information about why an on-site prevention specialist needs multidisciplinary experience, check out this Briotix whitepaper on The Future of Musculoskeletal Health Management