Ever hear of the “industrial athlete”? The concept is that employees, like athletes, perform better when they are properly trained and fit for duty. Proponents say that the right training leads to fewer injuries, quicker return to work, and reduced costs. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of on-site athletic trainers.
Says Jim Thornton, president of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), “With the ever increasing demand on output and return on investment in today’s workplace, employees in the occupational setting remain at risk of acute and overuse on-the-job injuries.” The expertise of athletic trainers in musculoskeletal injuries makes them a strategic choice for an occupational safety and health team.
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The NATA cites Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) statistics indicating that 40 percent of total work-related injuries and illnesses are strains and tears, and an additional 29 percent are related to musculoskeletal disorders. Overall, work-related musculoskeletal injuries cost employers $20 billion a year. A NATA study found that businesses that used on-site athletic trainers experienced a drop in lost workdays and reduced costs associated with emergency room visits and other expenses.
Check out these athletic trainer success stories.
At a Massachusetts healthcare provider, a team of 13 trainers conducts internal workstation ergonomic evaluations, performs on-site injury care and triage, and runs prevention and wellness programs. With the trainers on board, the business tracked a 30 percent decrease in overall musculoskeletal disorders in a year.
Staff members in patient safety and transport have benefited through education on proper ergonomics, especially back injury prevention. The system’s environmental service staff has reported reduced repetitive injuries from cleaning, material handling duties, and lifting. Adjusting everything from mechanics to reducing actual size of the carts that staff unloaded each day could potentially reduce on-the-job injuries.
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In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll get more success stories from organizations that brought athletic trainers into their workplaces.