Workplace Health

With an aging work force and rising cost pressures from a rapidly globalizing economy, workplace health has become a top issue for Canadian industry. The 2005 Canadian study, "Chronic Diseases in Canada", published by Desjardins Financial estimates that worker stress alone costs the economy $30 billion annually in lost time and productivity. Studies also show Canadian employers spend 12% to 15% of their payroll on the direct costs of absenteeism.  Occupational therapy services are ideally suited to address these issues and provide a range of options to facilitate return to work following injury or disease. Our occupational therapists draw upon a knowledge base that includes medical impairment, job analysis, ergonomics, functional evaluation, human rights legislation and insurance regulations to provide a comprehensive approach to recovery management. They are skilled in assisting clients with physical, cognitive/neurological and mental health conditions.

Recovery Management Services

Each engagement includes early and consistent communication with the client, primary care physician, insurer and departmental manager/health & safety representative. After gaining worker consent, our consultant therapist can obtain medical and functional information and compare this against pre disability and alternate job demands to identify return to work opportunities and communicate this to decision makers.

Regular contact with insurers and the employee's medical team ensures access to specialized rehabilitation services and/or independent assessments is timely. Regular contact with the client’s rehabilitation team allows monitoring of employee participation and progress and facilitates regular review of functional status in comparison to accommodated and regular job demands.

Thus, rehabilitation remains work relevant and the client is transitioned to a graduated return to work program as soon as able. The overall aim of recovery management is the employee's full participation in the right services at the right time and maintenance of a strong attachment to the workplace. This approach has demonstrated positive results in achieving early and durable return-to-work across a variety of industries.

Graduated Return to Work (GRTW)

GRTW plans are implemented with physician approval and the involvement of departmental managers and the worker to ensure a viable and well supported return to pre-accident or alternate work. Consistent follow up with all parties ensures barriers and employee concerns are addressed promptly.

Employee Education Classes

On site education sessions are tailored for each organization and in turn, each department, based on the nature and location of the most frequent injuries and unique job requirements. Educational content promotes employee responsibility in avoiding injury and improving workplace safety. Sessions include Safe Lifting & Material Handling, Customizing My Workstation and Stayfit, a class on preparing for physical work using stretching and warm up exercises.

Job Demands Analysis (JDA)

A job demands analysis quantifies the physical, cognitive, and interpersonal requirements associated with a job and differentiates critical demands from optional ones. Supported by a detailed and easy-to-read report, the JDA provides physicians, insurance adjusters and health & safety personnel with an objective record of worker requirements and potential job accommodations. By circulating these reports early in the recovery process and actively comparing functional assessment reports with the JDA, appropriate decisions about fitness to return to work and selection of modified duties can be made by health professionals and other decision makers. This facilitates a timely and safe return to the workplace.

Ergonomic Assessments

Ergonomic assessments evaluate injury risk factors that may result from high repetition, awkward postures, high forces and a number of other workplace conditions that affect how work is conducted. Ergonomic assessments can be tailored to a specific worker’s health concerns or applied on a preventative basis to address potential risk factors. An evaluation of a work station and typical duties is conducted and recommendations are made to reduce the impact of risk factors. This may include improved positioning of the worker, modified or new tools and equipment, new furniture and/or adjustments to the work space. An emphasis on proper work style ensures workers approach tasks in a safe and productive manner.

Workplace Accommodation Assessment

Where it has been determined that a return to pre-disability employment is not realistic, many employers seek to accommodate workers by modifying the previous job or providing an alternate job to enable the worker to meet productivity demands safely and dependably. In this context, the Workplace Accommodation Assessment provides workers with a number of recommendations to facilitate employment. An initial discussion with the employer ensures identified concerns, scope of work, possible modifications and other parameters are well understood. Subsequently, a worker interview and review of job demands and performance is undertaken. Recommendations may include task modification, workstation changes, alternate tools/equipment, symptom/disease management strategies and/or compensatory strategies. Depending on the complexity of recommendations made and safety considerations, subsequent occupational therapy may be necessary to implement them. To ensure worker safety, a review of available medical records is also provided and for workers who have not yet attempted their alternate/modified job, a Functional or Cognitive Capacity Evaluation may be beneficial.

Independent Disability Evaluations

Functional Capacity Evaluations and Functional Driving Evaluations are also available. Where recovery management or other consultation services are provided to the employer, independent disability evaluations are sourced from other consultancies to mitigate potential conflict of interest.

LinksAboutContactSite Map

CAOT partner

© 1994 - 2019 Community Therapists All rights reserved. • Terms of Use