Healing a work-related injury is only the first step on the road to recovery. What should come next is training in the proper use of equipment to avoid future injuries, says Mike Peterson, manager of the Center for Assistive Rehabilitation and Vocational Services at Sister Kenny Institute in Minneapolis.
"Often after the injury is cured, individuals go back to the work site and reinjure themselves," explains Peterson. "But proper body training and ergonomic equipment can help cut down on reinjury."
The center also helps prevent injury in the first place through a program that sends specialists to perform work-site analyses at companies nationwide. Analysts make recommendations for ergonomic equipment, adjustable workstations and even software designed to cut down on extra typing. Many of the ergonomic products-including a "floating arms" keyboard that attaches to office-chair arms, one-handed keyboards, and "sit-to-stand" workstations that raise and lower hydraulically-are available at the center.
A work-site analysis generally costs about $70 per hour, says Peterson-well worth it when you consider that injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 per employee. As they say, an ounce of prevention . . .