D+WC performs functional job analyses for employers who have a sincere interest in preventing, managing and mitigating the costs and human suffering associated when a mismatch occurs between workers’ functional abilities and the critical job demands of a current, proposed or new position. The functional job analysis provides one half of the roadmap to recovery while, functional capacity evaluation of workers’ provides the rest of the map.
Employers who commit to investing in functional job analyses across their worksite have made a prudent risk management decision that will pay dividends as new hires are brought on board, current workers are transferred and injured employees return to work.
You can’t learn lion taming from a book or video and you can’t tame disability from within a clinic or claims office. On-site analysis of job tasks and work environments are essential ingredients of a comprehensive disability prevention and management program.
Physical therapists are highly qualified FUNCTIONAL experts who should be a stakeholder in RTW decisions along with case managers, claims adjusters, occupational medicine providers and vocational rehabilitation counselors. Therapists possess invaluable knowledge of biomechanics, work conditioning & hardening, muscle performance, endurance & fatigue assessment, and ergonomics. Therapists should routinely participate in the design of “reasonable accommodations” under ADA, the identification of “Administrative & Engineering Controls” under OSHA abatement programs, and development of “modified” or “transitional” duty programs inaccurately labeled “light duty” by those who do not understand workplace dynamics and variables. For instance, many sufferers of low back pain or LBP are commonly placed into sedentary jobs, which can actually and often do exacerbate the condition due to a number of factors including, but not limited to; poor posture, increase in intradiscal pressures, weight gain, increased risk of blood clotting in lower extremities, decreased cardiac and pulmonary output, increased risk of bone demineralization, increased risk of pressure or contact wounds (e.g. diabetes) and decline in muscle performance measures.