Offering onsite treatment is a game-changer for many firms. Even with the best injury prevention programs in place, workers will still be injured on the job. Or, they could be a weekend warrior and incur a sprain or strain that may affect their job performance. Let’s take a closer look at how onsite treatment can make a difference.
Today, organizations are scrambling to maintain their headcount while still satisfying customer expectations of receiving high-quality products and services. However, musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries deplete workers’ ability to perform well and stay employed. With skilled talent so hard to find, organizations can’t afford to lose valuable staff to debilitating MSK conditions.
MSK disorders are troublesome for both workers and their employers. In many cases, especially without treatment, MSK injuries worsen to the point where sufferers must leave the workplace, either temporarily or for good. Government studies show that MSK-caused disability is the third leading reason for early retirement in the United States. Too many workers leave the labor market prematurely because of MSK-related health issues, taking their knowledge and hard-to-replace skills with them.
Organizations pay the price even if employees with painful MSK conditions stay on the job. Workers’ discomfort and limited mobility/dexterity hobble their capabilities and decrease their performance. These employees’ chronic absenteeism or presenteeism represents lost productivity and additional costs for employers, who must carry on with a diminished workforce.
Why You Should Treat MSK Injuries at Work
To prevent workers’ MSK injuries from draining your business, injured employees should get prompt, effective treatment before the injury becomes too debilitating. The question is, should they receive treatment at the workplace or go offsite to a physical therapy clinic?
Taking Time Off for Treatment
Having employees take time off from work or family time to visit an offsite PT clinic can disrupt schedules and impact productivity. It requires approximately three hours of time to seek offsite treatment. Once someone leaves work for offsite therapy, they’re not likely to return that day. If workers find PT sessions at an offsite clinic inconvenient, time-consuming, or cause them to miss deadlines, employees may avoid them. The alternative has the employee burning through limited sick time to visit the clinic, with the organization left short-staffed for that period. In this scenario, workers may decide to ignore their MSK pain and “see if it gets better on its own.”
Alternatively, health providers at onsite PT clinics can treat MSK injuries right in the workplace. Onsite clinics are easy and convenient for patients, so they’re more likely to attend PT sessions and get better. Employers benefit by having happier, more productive staff who can fully perform their jobs.
Promotes Employee Wellness
Onsite PT clinics also signal that it’s okay for employees to admit to MSK disorders because management has acknowledged the issue and invested in therapeutic solutions. The clinic may encourage people to seek PT treatments before minor MSK ailments escalate. Onsite therapy can also improve more serious MSK conditions, relieving workers’ pain and preventing further damage.
Gets Employees Back-to-Work Faster
Onsite treatment offers other benefits. Work conditioning and hardening services help restore strength and flexibility for those returning to work after recovery from MSK injuries. These work-based PT programs and exercises prepare workers to resume their job duties safely and avoid reinjury.
Work hardening/conditioning services, such as WorkWell’s WorkFit program, develop people’s muscle strength and endurance, decrease pain, and teach employees what activities they can accomplish safely. By practicing proper body mechanics and posture, workers can regain their energy and functional capabilities.
Treatment is a Gamechanger
By offering onsite treatment, there are hard benefits like reduced medical and insurance costs, better retention, and less lost productivity. But there are also soft benefits -- it changes the dynamics of your safety culture. You send a clear sign to employees that you care about their health and you value their contribution.