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Combining User-Friendly Tech with a Human Approach

Liberty Mutual started publishing the Workplace Safety Index in 2000. This survey of workplace injuries has consistently identified overexertion as the leading cause of injury across all industry types. Overexertion injuries result from activities such as lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, or throwing items. Awkward working postures, such as bending, reaching, or climbing, are also in the top 10 list of injury causes. These are referred to as bodily reaction injuries because the person was injured without contacting anything else. They are also referred to as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

The combined cost of these two injury types accounted for approximately $16 billion in 2020 (the latest data reported by Liberty Mutual). This is roughly 28% of all costs attributed to non-fatal workplace injuries. Furthermore, the costs only consider the direct costs of the injury; indirect costs can be two to three times higher. VelocityEHS’ Principal Solutions Strategist and Ergonomist Rick Barker breaks down the direct and indirect costs of a workplace injury in an EHS Today article titled “Understanding the Total Cost of an Injury.”  

The underlying factors contributing to MSDs are complex. The equipment, tools, products, and processes involved can be evaluated and modified to reduce risk exposure. A person’s interaction with this work adds an additional layer of complexity. Human behavior is highly variable and, therefore, can require proactive management.

The ActiveEHS® capabilities of the VelocityEHS Industrial Ergonomics Solution use sensorless motion capture technology to identify MSD risks; the motion capture risk assessment results are then combined with embedded expertise to propose underlying causes and effective engineering controls. System users can further customize improvements by referencing the global design guidelines in the software to define the optimal modifications to workstations, tools, equipment, and products.

But what about the human element? Fit For Work provides in-person support to help manage the complex aspects of individual behaviors. Combining VelocityEHS technology with Fit For Work’s onsite support provides a comprehensive and scalable solution to help reduce the risk of MSDs while also improving operator safety, comfort, and well-being throughout the organization.    

The Partnership in Action

For example, let’s say you have multiple assembly lines in your plant, each with various sub-assembly areas –with their own injury risk factors. The Industrial Ergonomics Solution is utilized to identify MSD risks within these areas and prioritize the highest-risk jobs for improvement.

Once VelocityEHS’ Ergonomics Solution has laid this groundwork, Fit For Work’s multi-disciplinary team of certified professionals can analyze the data and work directly with employees performing high-risk jobs to facilitate improved movements, processes, and equipment upgrades tailored to each unique individual. Ultimately, this combination is designed to be a scalable and sustainable solution to improve performance and productivity across business units and locations.

Who Is Fit For Work?

Fit For Work brings over 20 years of expertise across nearly 2,000 locations to the table, supported by a team of 350 professionals that includes physicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, athletic trainers, certified ergonomists, engineers, and safety professionals.

In addition to achieving a 50% reduction in injuries and associated costs, according to Fit For Work, there are numerous other benefits to utilizing their services, including getting access to their experts who have the proven capability of combining technology with human insights, receiving onsite functional employment testing, and securing ongoing ergonomics support through their convenient subscription service.

Together, VelocityEHS and Fit For Work are helping organizations of all shapes and sizes swiftly and skillfully implement world-class, holistic health and ergonomics programs that have a significant and lasting impact. And we can do the same for you.

Contact us today to learn more.