Can an industrial athlete program prevent workplace injury?

Industrial workers exercising

In many industries, employees are like athletes. The physical demands of their job require them to be in peak condition to be productive and avoid injury. Unfortunately, “industrial athletes” don’t always have the time or resources to stay in peak condition. And injuries can have a negative effect on your bottom line.

The financial impact of workforce injuries is significant. The Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index 2020 reports that serious, nonfatal workplace injuries are costing U.S. businesses more than $1 billion dollars each week. Within the $59.59 billion total costs of disabling workplace injuries, three of the top 10 injury causes – handling objects, being in awkward positions and repetitive motions involving microtasks – may be able to be addressed through the implementation of an industrial athlete program.

How it works

In an industrial athlete program like the one offered by Harness Health Partners, onsite athletic trainers work closely with your employees to teach proactive ways to avoid injuries. Instead of being reactive with your health care services after an injury occurs, employers can potentially avoid the injury altogether by taking advantage of a program like this. Industries that benefit from industrial athletic training services include, but are not limited to: construction, manufacturing, first responders, utility companies, energy and more.

Proof points

While an athletic trainer (AT) is most often seen supporting your favorite sports teams, an AT’s skill set positions them to optimize the physical health of your workforce — which may positively influence your bottom line. According to an article published in the Journal of Ergonomics, companies surveyed reported a reduction in worker’s compensation claims for musculoskeletal disorders as well as a decrease of at least 50% in work-related injuries among employees.

The same article addresses a common question – what’s the return on investment? The answer: strongly favorable. “More than 80% of companies indicated an ROI of at least $3 per $1 invested, with 30% of companies reporting an ROI of $7,” as reported in the article. Athletic trainers can provide ergonomic coaching, strengthening and flexibility programs and wellness advice, as well as provide basic first aid, assist with pre-task planning, develop home exercise programs for employees to minimize risk of injury and more.

Bringing a trainer onsite can offer a number of additional benefits, such as:

  • Implementing physical capabilities testing for potential hires, current employee baselines and return-to-work evaluations.
  • Providing ongoing physical training to improve strength, flexibility, mobility and productivity.
  • Offering onsite education to promote employee health, injury prevention and safety.
  • Creating preventive stretching, break time exercise and at-home exercises to make sure employees stay strong, healthy and productive.

About Harness and our Industrial Athlete Program

Harness Health Partners’ Industrial Athlete Program is one of the first of its kind in the region and focuses on preventing injuries on the worksite.

Harness Health Partners is an employer health solutions company. As part of one of the largest health systems in the nation, we harness the power of a healthy workforce by building effective partnerships, increasing productivity and lowering health care costs.

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