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Addressing Workplace Safety Through Body, Behavior, and Environment

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Written by Kevin Lombardo

Between the rising costs of healthcare, a troubling opioid epidemic sweeping the nation, and an aging workforce, it’s now more important than ever for companies to maintain a proactive strategy for worker health and safety. Attitudes among workers and the general population have shifted toward placing a greater emphasis on total wellness, and businesses must formulate effective responses in order to remain competitive and stable in today’s economy.

The fact is that wellness is a universal concern. It derives from every aspect of an individual’s health, from physical well-being to mental health, and too often, companies adopt strategies that fail to account for the totality of a worker’s experience. Simple wellness incentives and basic training programs are no longer sufficient, and without a solution that covers all the bases, workers and their employers are too often left dealing with ongoing health issues and significant costs.

Fortunately, modern research and technology have provided companies with the resources to ensure worker health from a top-down perspective. From addressing common problems like stress and injury to tackling more complex challenges like mental health, drug dependency, and invisible micro-stressors in the workplace, a Total Worker Health™ approach can provide workers with a supportive and preventative care solution.

At DORN, we call this strategy the BBE Model, a total package that strives to provide education, training, and direct care for workers by addressing Body, Behavior, and Environment.

BBE Model DORN

 

The Compounding Demands of the Workplace

The modern workplace is more demanding than ever. According to the American Institute of Stress, 65 percent of workers struggle with stress to a degree that it causes problems on the job. Employees are working more hours and taking on more work as businesses face challenging business decisions. A strong, growing economy and changing tax laws exist alongside a changing workforce that encompasses aging workers, millennials looking for short-term employment, and a general lack of technology skills, all of which could cause a dramatic labor shortage within just a few years.

Workplace Safety

The effects aren’t confined to the workplace alone; in fact, between 75 and 90 percent of all doctors visits are ultimately related to stress. It takes a toll on both the mind and body, affecting not only the worker’s health but also their mental acuity and job performance. Important decisions are made significantly more difficult by stress, and the fatigue it produces can cause employees to miss deadlines and fail to complete projects. Stress places a significant strain on the bottom line, as the price of health care, workers’ compensation claims, and the surrounding indirect costs have increased to $300 billion nationwide each year.

 

Between 75-90% of all doctors visits are ultimately related to stress.

 

In light of the opioid epidemic that has pervaded the United States, it’s now more crucial than ever to help employees stay healthy. Drug overdose has leapt up to become the fastest-growing cause of death on the job. Many opioid addictions begin with painkiller prescriptions initiated after an injury at work. The ripples of injury and pain in the workplace extend in directions few could have anticipated. There is now more than ever a need for innovation in the workplace safety realm.

 

BBE: A Three-Pronged Approach to A Safe and Healthy Workplace

At DORN, we believe that tackling the issue of workplace safety requires more than a strictly medical approach. In our nearly 18 years of experience helping companies keep their workers healthy, we’ve learned that focusing on the worker’s body alone is not enough to alleviate the prevalence musculoskeletal disorders—the most common workplace injury—nor does it do enough to dramatically improve your workers’ overall health. Investing in limited prevention before the injury leads to much higher costs post-injury and a larger workers’ compensation bill.

That’s why at DORN, we zoom out our focus to include a holistic view of the worker. We’ve created innovative strategies for mitigating physical pain and injury, but we’ve also developed comprehensive improvements for the work environment and the way employees do their jobs.

Body

The physical aspect of the BBE strategy is designed to engage directly with employees on the job, providing training and care to alleviate the symptoms of injury and stress. It’s a hands-on approach, in which our staff administers therapy for non-acute injuries and chronic pain. According to The Journal of Pain’s 2012 report, chronic pain costs have reached as much as $635 billion annually. That’s a significant cost for an employer to bear over an issue that can be vastly improved with direct attention to the individuals in the workforce. Less pain means happier, more engaged employees, fewer accidents, and injuries, and increased productivity across all phases of the operation.

Chronic pain costs have reached as much as $635 billion annually!

 

Behavior

Understanding how a worker does their job is an essential tactic in keeping them safe and healthy. We provide on-site coaching for employees, observing their behavior and technique to isolate problem areas and provide immediate solutions. It’s a real-time answer to lapsed work practices, helping to correct flawed motions and behaviors that can lead to injury or chronic pain. Teaching self-care techniques allows for employees to practice and work towards behavior change while at work and home. Increasing employee engagement in your solutions also drives productivity for the organization. We also deploy detailed analysis of your workforce, providing data so that you can monitor your wellness program and discover the most effective strategies for improvement.

Environment

The physical workplace plays a critical role in the health and safety of your employees. It’s a factor at every level: the workstation, the department, and the organization. That’s why we work to understand the work environment through careful observation and direct interaction with your workers. From there, we assess the environment itself, using a wide-angle approach that provides you with a detailed set of ergonomic recommendations. Recently, a major company reported saving $250 million on health care costs after investing in ergonomic solutions. From there, you’ll possess a detailed roadmap to help you attack risk areas at all levels. With a strong set of workplace standards in place, your employees will enjoy a safer environment with fewer instances of chronic pain and injury.

Engage, Educate, Empower

One-on-one engagement with employees is crucial in establishing a culture of wellness. Your workers want to know that they’re being supported and that their employer genuinely cares about their well-being. That relationship begins by finding ways to listen to feedback and address concerns directly. It includes demonstrating to your workers that you have the sophistication to examine all facets of workplace safety, from the individual to the worksite. Our aim with the BBE model is to help you interact with and educate your workers, providing them with the tools and expertise to carry out their jobs safely and productively. Your employees are the strength of your enterprise, and your investment in their wellness can inspire lasting success.

Results

DORN Programs Results

So, what can you expect from this holistic approach to addressing the Body, Behavior, and Environment of your employees? In short, you’ll see lower workers’ compensation claims and costs, reduced health care costs, lower absenteeism, increased productivity, and much-improved morale. On average, workers report a pain level reduction of about 55 percent, according to the 3,000 people surveyed who participated in the BBE model.

Why is that important? Reduced pain leads to improved sleep patterns, reduced medication usage, and fewer doctor visits, along with a higher focus level at work. This leads to increased morale and productivity, reduced injuries, and a more engaged workforce.

Call us today to learn how you can implement the BBE Model at your company: 888.870.8828

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About the Author

Kevin Lombardo

CEO & President at DORN Companies
Kevin is Senior Executive and widely recognized thought leader in workers’
compensation, Total Worker Health, and wellness with a focus on workplace injury prevention and onsite innovative therapy solutions.
Say Goodbye to employees' pain, high healthcare and workers' compensation claims and costs. Learn more

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  Comments: 1


  1. I concur with the article and would like more information on reducing stress, improving employee health and reducing workers’ compensation claims.

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About the Author
Kevin Lombardo

Kevin Lombardo

CEO & President at DORN Companies
Kevin is Senior Executive and widely recognized thought leader in workers’
compensation, Total Worker Health, and wellness with a focus on workplace injury prevention and onsite innovative therapy solutions.
Contact Kevin