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WorkWell's Workplace Injury Prevention Blog

Phase 3 of Operationalizing Your Safety Culture: Implementing a Robust MSK Health Plan

This is the third in our series about operationalizing your safety culture. In previous posts, we first talked about how to make sense of your data and then how to use that data to create a comprehensive musculoskeletal health plan that includes strategic, operation, and tactical elements. In this post, we discuss your options for implementing that plan.

As discussed in the first post, you have lots of data within your organization that is analyzed using a three-part framework. In the second post in this series, we talk about harnessing that data and creating a musculoskeletal wellness plan which meets your corporate directives. Those directives and measurable KPIs are likely to focus on injury prevention and employee retention.

Now it's time to put what you've learned into action.

Tallying up Available Resources

Armed with executive support and funding, Safety Committees are well-positioned to initiate effective safety protocols and reduce injury rates. However, while you may have available staff to complete some safety directives in-house, others may require additional personnel.

Setting up an in-house program is not easy. In a previous post, we discussed that it takes 170 steps to implement an onsite PT program. Most firms do not have the expertise needed to take on specialized tasks such as worksite ergonomic assessments, pre-employment testing, and physical therapy. Begin with an inventory of available assets and decide where additional help is needed. Also, identify initiatives that are one-time "special projects" such as updating functional job descriptions and those that are ongoing such as employee testing and work conditioning.

For example, the Safety Committee may know how to train employees on best practices for workplace safety, but they would need a health provider to diagnose and treat employee musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries. The health provider might have other responsibilities, such as analyzing job descriptions and recommending ergonomic improvements to workstations, requiring someone who understands occupational health and industrial ergonomic principles plus physical therapy.

Considering their impact on productivity, costs, and employee well-being, reducing and treating employee injuries is often the number one goal for Safety Committees. Onsite physical therapy clinics, which make injury diagnosis and treatment easy and convenient, can treat MSK injuries and develop programs that minimize injury risks in the workplace.

In-House or Outsource?

When planning an onsite clinic, organizations need to consider many factors, including patient privacy, government regulations, hiring credentialed staff, and designing an appropriate medical space. As our video points out, nearly 170 steps are needed to complete the process successfully.

Faced with the complexity of delivering multi-pronged employee wellness services, many organizations decide to outsource them to a qualified managed services provider. Outsourcing is a time-honored approach that frees organizations to focus on their core business while ensuring ancillary services, such as cloud-based IT services or legal support, are handled by expert third-party professionals.

A managed services provider can provide expert guidance to help you manage the entire process of designing, setting up, and launching your onsite clinic. Services may include equipping the clinic space, hiring credentialed health providers, setting up reports, and managing employee scheduling and treatment follow-up. Another benefit of outsourcing is you can bring in qualified personnel as needed, either for special projects or for long-term wellness initiatives such as job coaching.

Make sure to choose a services provider who can address your strategic objectives with resources at both the operational and tactical levels that deliver measurable results. As a result, your investment in wellness services will successfully create the world-class safety culture you want for your employees.

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