Ergonomics and Employee Accommodations

With COVID-19 influencing workplace design, location, and set up, we are experiencing a shift in business models to support remote working arrangements, with many planning not to return to the office or on a reduced schedule.  It is important to consider ergonomic concepts and reflect on how they might apply to the "new normal" in order to avoid aches, pain, stress, musculoskeletal injuries, and especially employee time loss. You can move from a reactive ergonomic program to a preventative one, saving your company a ton of money and prevent costly injury claims!

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Remote Ergonomic Assessments

Remote working can be challenging without the proper supports, equipment and technology in place. What may have started out as temporary work locations are becoming permanent remote worksites. Working on a laptop from the kitchen table or couch can cause discomfort and potential injuries. We teach employees basic ergonomic principles and help get them set up for improved comfort and productivity. We teach healthy working behaviours and how to optimize current equipment and furniture. Follow-up ergonomic coaching is available to assist in furniture or equipment procurement and set up.

Virtual Ergonomics Assessments

Our occupational therapists have received their COVID-19 vaccines and we continue to prioritize our customers' safety, reducing risks associated with COVID-19 through our innovative web-based mobile ergonomic assessments and secure video conferencing. We offer these virtual ergonomic assessments for home offices and worksite offices across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario!

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Worksite Office Ergonomics Assessments

Our occupational therapists are  Matheson System trained Ergonomists. We conduct worksite office ergonomic assessments and home office ergonomic assessments in Winnipeg and surrounding areas. We identify ergonomic risk factors  to improve comfort and reduce musculoskeletal injuries/disorders. The comprehensive report outlines engineering/furniture, administrative, and behavioural recommendations. Educational resources are provided to our clients to increase engagement in healthy working behaviours.

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Industrial Ergonomic Assessments

An in-depth ergonomic examination of a job or task to identify physical, environmental and psychosocial risk factors that could contribute to musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace. Considerations for frequency, duration, and force of work demands are examined.  The risk factors and possible personal protective equipment, administrative processes, engineering improvements, and behavioural recommendations are outlined with priority coding. Employee training such as Manual Material Handling, Mental Health at Work, or other task-specific safety training may be recommended.

 

Ergonomics Training

  • Worksite and Home Office Ergonomics - Guidelines for healthy working: 1-hour Live Webinar for employees and supervisors 

  • Manual Material Handling Training for the Industrial Worker: 1-hour on site training

Job Demands Analysis

A job demands analysis (JDA) is an essential building block and useful tool for any Health and Safety or Human Resource professional. A JDA is the assessment of the physical, cognitive, psychosocial aspects of a job, included in the essential and bona fide occupational requirements (BFOR) of the work. Our occupational therapists conduct Job Demands Analysis, to be used for matching employees safely to jobs within their capabilities and to determine appropriate accommodations following injury, illness, or disability.

Functional Capacity Evaluations

A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) or Functional Abilities Evaluation (FAE) is a clinic-based assessment conducted by our FCE certified Occupational Therapists at our clinic in Winnipeg. We offer both Physical (FCE/FAE) and Cognitive (CogFCE/CFAE) depending on purpose of the evaluation.

 

An FCE is a method of measuring an individual's ability to perform specified tasks on a safe and defensible basis. The resulting report provides objective information about an individual's current abilities to perform work tasks and activities.  Standardized measures for consistency of effort and reports of disability and pain symptoms are incorporated into the assessment protocol. The purpose of an FCE is to collect information about the functional limitations of a person with a medical impairment. In addition, the FCE can be used to determine if the individual will be safe in performing various job tasks and if job accommodations will be required.  

 

As Occupational Therapists, we consider psychosocial factors that may be presenting barriers to function and return to work potential. We can also recommend rehabilitation strategies to improve functional tolerances and performance, such as direct therapy to improve mental health, physical re-conditioning, and vestibular tolerance as required, ensuring a successful return to work experience. If work capacity is in question by employer, insurer or lawyer, the clinic-based Functional Capacity Evaluation is your answer!

 

Employee Accommodation Assessments

Our team of OTs are knowledgable and experienced in identifying disability-related workplace accommodations such as modifications to schedule, work demands, equipment and assistive technology to increase ability and inclusions. We work with employers, insurers and employees to find solutions that support stay at work or return to work efforts. Our therapists help employers and their employees implement ergonomic and disability accommodation solutions together, facilitating successful return to work and stay at work programs.  We are experts in workplace accommodation and understand the legislative responsibilities for employers and the rights of individuals with disabilities to be accommodated at work. Don't guess. Let us assess!

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If you are an individual requiring any of these services, Our service fees are covered by some healthcare insurance plans. You can also include these fees as part of your eligible medical expenses on your personal tax return to receive a Tax Credit.

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