Maintaining workers' health and wellbeing with injury prevention tactics can benefit both productivity and employee morale. One tactic we recommend is called "worksite rounds," which describes the onsite physical therapist (PT) frequently walking around the workplace, observing workers' behavior, and having informal encounters with them, versus conducting prescheduled visits and exams at the clinic.
On worksite rounds, the onsite PT has an opportunity to watch your team in action as they perform their work duties. The one-on-one time with employees in real-life work scenarios can provide the PT with valuable insight into actual working conditions and how to improve workplace safety. They may observe employees with unsafe work habits or who labor in hazardous conditions. Both situations put the employees at greater risk of injury. While rounding, the PT can provide on-the-spot recommendations and coach employees on more ergonomic ways to do common activities such as lifting, reaching, and bending.
Seeing the onsite PT regularly "making the rounds" can build familiarity and trust between them and the workforce, so employees feel more comfortable asking for help. When the PT stops by, it gives workers a chance to ask questions about worrisome symptoms or get advice on various health topics. For example, a worker who's experiencing lower back pain can learn about effective treatments and available therapy services.
In today's video, Brian Boyle, PT/DPT, talks about worksite rounds and why they are so important. He reviews the value of "rounding," where PTs get outside the formal setting of the clinic and make themselves physically available to employees in their day-to-day work environment.
Brian describes how spontaneous interactions with the PT enable workers to discuss their health concerns with a trusted, knowledgeable professional versus ignoring their symptoms or getting dubious advice from a neighbor or "Dr. Google".
Promptly treating employees with minor symptoms before they become debilitating musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries can prevent expensive claims and reduced productivity. By reporting their symptoms early to the PT, the employee can learn some easy at-home treatments to relieve their discomfort. Or, if necessary, the PT may recommend a visit to the onsite clinic, followed by a personalized treatment plan and job coaching.
Brian then discusses the advantages of a trusting relationship between the PT and the employees. When the PT is seen as a valuable, credible expert, workers will be more willing to seek their services and guidance. Employees also tend to follow workplace safety rules and willingly adopt job coaching techniques when presented by a trusted, familiar source.
For over 25 years, WorkWell has trained highly educated providers on our industry-leading workplace injury prevention and management methodologies. Providers are educated on workplace injury prevention techniques, including first aid/screening, early intervention for aches/pains, coaching, work conditioning, ergonomics, and worksite rounding.