solution options for employers

By: Ot Solutions  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Rehabilitation, Health and Safety, Therapists

Solution Options for Employers - OT Solutions - Injury Rehabilitation Recovery Auckland Occupational Therapists Work Place Injuries Accidents NZOT Solutions

The OT Solutions therapist meets with the employee at their place of work. The therapist evaluates the employee’s pre-injury duties, work practices, tools, environment, equipment and expressed difficulties. A holistic assessment helps the therapist to identify and implement any changes necessary to ensure the employee is able to return to work, remain at work, or sustain their work safely. Suitable alternate duties would also be reviewed at this time.

This process is often directed through an insurer, and paid for by them.

The Referral Process

  • You ring OT Solutions to request assistance in returning an employee back to work.
  • We guide you through the Referral Process.
  • A suitable appointment time and place is scheduled to meet with you and your injured employee.
  • Our therapist visits the employee to complete a Workplace Assessment. The employee’s injury related needs are determined.
  • A course of action is agreed between all parties.
  • An Assessment Report is completed within 3 days and sent to the relevant parties outlining any recommendations to assist the employee back to work. We also advise on how to best manage the injury, prevent further injury, and on essential equipment needs and education advice.

A Rehabilitation Plan can include:

  • Return to work options and plan
  • Work practice advice o Environment changes
  • Equipment advice
  • Ongoing rehabilitation needs, e.g. physiotherapy
  • Further medical investigations
  • Self-management advice
  • Work load organisation
  • Pain management.

This is a similar process to the above, however it is funded directly by the employer rather than the insurer. A Workplace Assessment may be undertaken when

  • You wish to prevent injuries and you want to ensure a safe work environment (in accordance to the Health & Safety in Employment Act 1992), or
  • If a claim has been declined by an Insurer and the employee still suffers symptoms of pain, discomfort or injury.

The Referral Process

  • You ring OT Solutions direct.
  • We agree a quote within 24 hours.
  • A suitable appointment time and place is scheduled to meet with you and your employee.
  • Our therapist visits the employee to complete a Workplace Assessment and determine all health and safety needs. With your permission, we may implement some workplace changes at the time.
  • An Assessment Report is completed within 3 days and sent to you, outlining our Health and Safety recommendations.
  • You consider our plan and implement a suitable course of action.

Recommendations can include:

  • Workstation changes
  • Work practice advice
  • Environment changes
  • Equipment advice
  • Self-management advice
  • Workload pacing and grading
  • Pain management o Exercises.

This programme includes preparing a Workplace Assessment, the establishment of a Graduated Return to Work Plan, and then follow-up supervision. We closely monitor the injured employee to ensure their progress through the programme is safe and sustainable.

The therapist provides support and assists the employee to manage their expressed difficulties along the way. The ultimate goal is that the employee achieves a full return to work in a safe, cost-effective and timely manner.

This return to work needs to be sustainable and without further aggravating their injury.

The Referral Process

  • You ring OT Solutions to request assistance in returning an employee back to work.
  • We guide you through the Referral Process.
  • A suitable appointment time and place is scheduled to meet with you and your injured employee.
  • Our therapist visits the employee to complete a Workplace Assessment. The employee’s injury related needs are determined.
  • A course of action is agreed between all parties.
  • An Assessment Report is completed within 3 days and sent to the relevant parties outlining any recommendations to assist the employee back to work. We also advise on how to best manage the injury, prevent further injury, and on essential equipment needs and education advice.

A Rehabilitation Plan can include:

  • Return to work options and plan
  • Work practice advice
  • Environment changes
  • Equipment advice
  • Ongoing rehabilitation needs, e.g. physiotherapy
  • Further medical investigations
  • Self-management advice
  • Work load organisation
  • Pain management.

A Workplace Review is a follow-up process with you and the injured employee after the employee has returned to full time work. The OT Solutions therapist may follow up on the implementation of previous rehabilitation recommendations, e.g. equipment trials, environmental changes and safe work practices.

The Process

  • The employee has returned to full time work.
  • You request a Workplace Review.
  • A quote is agreed and the appointment is scheduled.
  • Our therapist ensures that previously recommended changes have occurred and that they meet the employee’s injury related needs. The success of equipment trials will also be reviewed.
  • We complete a Workplace Review Report and outline any further changes or rehabilitation needs required.
  • With support in place, the employee continues to remain safe and productive at work.
  • A sustainable work outcome is achieved. Further monitoring is unlikely, unless you request it.

Job Task Analysis will help you categorise your operation's work duties into sedentary, light, medium and heavy jobs. This way, should an employee be injured, you are able to provide support and help with a rehabilitation plan and suitable duties, such as restricted hours, alternative or changed duties, to keep the employee at work.

The Job Task Analysis includes a description of the principal tasks and work processes required for an employee to perform the job. It outlines specific job task detail such as weights lifted, number of actions, carrying distances, time spent on tasks, etc. We also note any biomechanical factors such as forceful work and extreme postures.

The Process

  • You contact OT Solutions.
  • A quote for the work is agreed and an appointment is scheduled.
  • Our therapist carries out a detailed Job Task Analysis.
  • We prepare a detailed Job Task Analysis Report for you.

OT Solutions can customise their seminars to suit your needs and budget. We are able to work in corporate or industry settings. Seminars can include:

  • Training individuals or Health and Safety Officers on how to correctly set up computer workstations.
  • Teaching employees about the importance of safe work practices.
  • Manual Handling and Lifting education using EMG biofeedback.
  • Back Care Education.
  • Monitoring and reporting on signs of discomfort, pain and injury.
  • Providing useful resource tools to further expand your staff’s knowledge and involvement in monitoring and managing signs of discomfort, pain and injury.

OT Solutions are a valuable resource for knowledge and supplier contacts for ergonomic equipment for the workplace, whether for the office or otherwise.

We are able to organise equipment trials for specific items. We can bring sample items to demonstrate their purpose and benefits. We are able to set up equipment and educate clients on the correct use of these.

OT Solutions can save you money by advising on suitable office furniture.

Please note that we do not receive commission or kick-back on any equipment we recommend. We are totally independent of all equipment suppliers.

Common errors we see with office furniture purchases include:

  • The bulk buying of unsuitable desks and chairs. We have seen companies buy bulk “trendy” style office furniture which are impractical to adjust or offer little postural support. The problem here is that they place their employees at risk of developing discomfort, pain or injury. This can lead to absenteeism, reduced productivity, and unhappy staff.
  • Fixed height desks. Some manufacturers of fixed height office desks do not follow the VDU Code of Practice Guidelines. This can result in desks which lead to bad posture or pressure on the thighs, causing discomfort and circulation problems.
  • Chairs are such an individual preference, and often this is not taken into account, and chairs are not set up to best suit the individual. We can help clients trial different types of chairs before they buy. We can also save you money through the process.
  • Other seating options need to be used correctly, and often are not.
  • Micropause software can in fact have the reverse effect to what is intended, and in many situations is not appropriate. We can make alternative recommendations.

OT Solutions conduct all Workstation Assessments in line with the VDU Code of Practice Guidelines to ensure your duties as employer are being met, that is the provision of a safe work environment for your employees. We also instruct and reinforce employees about their duties with regard to safe work practices and early reporting of symptoms.

It normally takes 15 to 20 minutes for a simple workstation assessment, which will include some changes made to the layout as required.

A typed report is sent to you outlining any recommendations we make.

Keywords: Equipment Advice, Health and Safety, Injury Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapists, Ot Solutions, Rehabilitation, Therapists,

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