Amid the clamor over evolving health care law, businesses are absorbing the brunt of the uncertainty.
In its first index since the Supreme Court’s health care ruling in June, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index fell 0.2 points to 91.2, still holding steady in recession territory.
In addition, the National Safety Council reports that $55.3 billion was paid out in workers’ compensation claims in 2005. Injuries cost $164.7 billion in the year 2006 alone. At this rate, the NSC reports, each worker must produce $1100.00 in goods and services just to offset the cost of work injuries
Seeing an opportunity to even the keel and control the cost of worker’s compensation, InjuryFree Inc. is setting the standard for workplace wellness in the Pacific Northwest. Through its on-site Employee Maintenance Centers, online wellness programs and wide array of ergonomics testing options, InjuryFree Inc. is taking a proactive stance on workers’ compensation claims.
“The question companies must examine is, where do we spend the dollars? Do we reactively spend them on higher premiums for employee benefits and workers’ compensation claims, or do we proactively spend them on prevention?” InjuryFree Inc. President and CEO Trent Shuford said in a September 2011 piece for the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Answering that question has put the company ahead of a trend in workers’ wellness.
The New York Times reported on Sept. 2, 2012 that wider use of workplace clinics could yield substantial nationwide savings.
A survey last year by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health found that 23 percent of midsize and large employers offered on-site health services and 12 percent more planned to in 2012. Health experts have published research in journals like the Harvard Business Review and Health Affairs showing that every dollar invested in employee wellness programs saves multiple dollars by lowering a company’s health care costs, reducing absenteeism and increasing productivity.
InjuryFree Inc. aims to cut those costs by shifting the workplace paradigm to employee maintenance, and by addressing musculoskeletal and ergonomic problems before the employee’s body breaks beyond easy repair.
InjuryFree Inc. offers small on-site, pre-staffed Employee Maintenance Centers (EMC), resembling a physical therapy office. At the centers, employees can take breaks during their workdays for short, guided exercises and stretching.
By identifying specific and personalized risk factors, the movement specialists at the EMC provide services for at-risk employees, preempting an emergency room visit and months of rehabilitation time. Company productivity remains high by keeping services in house, avoiding time off for outside physical therapy visits.
For companies that can’t accommodate in-house help, InjuryFree Inc. also offers an online store with pre-packaged challenges for employees to participate in. These group programs encourage and motivate staff to work as a team to achieve health and wellness goals. Each system comes with a computer tracking program designed to measure changes in employee health and the return on the company’s investment.
On the other side of wellness, Injury Free Inc.’s web-based software, ErgoStat, has been designed specifically as a management solution to all of your company’s safety and ergonomic needs.
Prevention has essentially become the golden egg of safety. It leads to a huge money saver and cut costs on injuries while keeping employees healthy and happy. When looking at this logic it is foolish that companies are designed to react to injuries rather prevent them.
ErgoStat is a specialized wet-based program that is designed to prevent injuries by putting employers in a position where reporting injuries or discomfort becomes easy and helpful. It is easy to use, it secures data, and it compiles with HIPAA and other regulatory requirements. The ErgoStat software system is designed to streamline pain claims while putting the employee, manager and ergonomist on the same page with immediate access to information, claim documents and the intervention plan.
ErgoStat has become an essential tool for employers to manage their employees’ safety and prevent future injury. Businesses use the software to ease the pressure on their reporting processes while ergonomists can use the same system to professionally and easily juggle numerous clients. The software provides a single location where employers can manage ergonomic data, from first report to ticket closure. Employees have the ability to notify their managers of any discomforts before it leads to something worse. This reduces the amount of injuries while creating a preventive atmosphere with happy injury free employees.
Another quick and cost-effective option from InjuryFree Inc. is the Virtual Ergonomist. The telephone and web-based system connects the employee to an Ergonomist who then evaluates the work environment through a series of experience-led, pointed questions. The results of that survey determine a prevention or intervention plan for the employee.
Companies have shaved more than 80 percent off professional on-site ergonomics services through the Virtual Ergonomist System. While site visits can cost more than $2,050, a Virtual Ergonomist visit costs $750.
If neither option is attractive, InjuryFree Inc. can send a certified ergonomist to the business for an in-person assessment, filling the need for third-party documentation to meet government regulations.
Companies are seeing the benefits of InjuryFree Inc.’s services across the country. In one instance, InjuryFree Inc.’s EMC helped Hoquiam, Wash.-based Greys Harbor Paper achieve a 154 percent return on investment in the past year, according to a report done by the Puget Sound Business Journal.
“I’ve been able to prove to our leadership that it’s well worth the cost,” said Kimberly Clark occupational health nurse Kim Mahew in a January 2011 Puget Sound Business Journal article written by Steve Wilhem.
With proven services, InjuryFree seeks to help companies reduce worker’s pain and injuries. After all every employer wishes to live, work and retire pain and InjuryFree.
For more information on InjuryFree, visit www.InjuryFree.com.