Archive for the ‘Sprain/Strain Injuries’ category

Bionomics®—Workplace Injury Prevention Breakthrough

June 24, 2018

palletsRecently one of our trainers (Dr. Paula) visited a new customer to conduct our pre-training onsite assessment at a pallet manufacturing company in order to customize the Bionomic Training workshops for this facility.  In reviewing the assessment, our Lead Trainer said, so matter-of-factly, “Oh yes, Dr. Paula knows everything about pallet handling.  The training is really going to help these employees.”

It struck me that after 26 years, we have become experienced with virtually every job description that exists in North America.  Why is that such a big deal?  The response to that is contained in the definition of Bionomics.  Years ago we discovered the lowest common denominator for why 80% of our population will experience a back incident in their lives and why sprain/strains contribute significantly to workers’ comp costs and lost workdays.

The simple answer is one of mankind’s biggest oversights.  As companies are busy managing workers’ comp claims, hiring temporary people to fill in for injured employees or ordering $600 ergonomic chairs … humanity conducts their actives of daily living on Young-Man-with-Back-Painand off the job, without the foggiest idea that the way that they are lifting, bending, pushing or keyboarding is the reason for their discomfort, pain and injury.

FIT created a new branch of ergonomics that teaches people how to do their jobs and at home activities in ways that we all should have learned…but didn’t.  Bionomics (bio=body) + (nomics=manage) is the result of research that discovered people can in fact prevent insidious “micro traumas” that add up over time (called Cumulative Micro Trauma—CMT) to cause lifestyle altering pain and injury.

Have you ever been taught how your spine functions?  What it likes and doesn’t like as far as motion and posture is concerned?  Have you ever been taught what positions for your shoulder are safest when conducting work or at-home activities?

Has anyone ever taught your employees specifically—the proper biomechanics of their job duties?  Or how to properly, I mean really properly, set up their existing ergonomic workstation?

Why do I ask?  Because back pain is ridiculously present in our lives yet we know more about our cars than our bodies!  pasted image 0How many cylinders does your car have?  Good!  How many bones make up your spine?  (crickets…)

Bionomics is a practical employee based training philosophy that puts people in charge of their bodies through hands-on training.  People learn life lessons on how to prevent microtrauma to their bodies by learning job specific biomechanics, and for office workers, how to prevent the fatigue and discomfort by finally learning how to adjust their workstations (want to stop expensive requests for chairs and sit-to-stands?  Teach people how to properly set up what they already have!)

Bionomics training also teaches people how to get rid of existing aches, pains and discomfort caused by muscles and joints, by simply doing a self-managed stretching routine.

After more than a quarter century, we know the correct job specific biomechanics for your employees.  This experience is critical and a main reason why we are so successful at getting employees to buy-in to physically changing their behaviors.

I can guarantee your employees are right now doing their jobs in ways that are contributing to tomorrow’s discomfort and perhaps a $40,000 claim.  Our society missed teaching us how to self-manage our own physical well-being while working.  Employees don’t want pain.  Employers don’t want injuries.  happy-at-work-saidaonlineLet’s prevent it!  Everyone wins—Bionomics—teaches people for the first time in their lives how to experience less microtrauma through proper techniques and how to relieve pain and discomfort through personal stretching routines! 

FIT has trainers across the US and Canada and compared to a back, shoulder or ergonomic injury, the cost is extremely affordable.  Call me to discuss your specific situation.  We can help!  I look forward to speaking with you.

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Aging Workforce: A Valuable Resource Worth Protecting…And It’s Easier Than You Think!

June 7, 2018

A paraphrase of a John Lennon lyric is “aging is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”.maxresdefault

People seem to be extremely busy living life nowadays.  We work, manage families and households, we tackle problems that life deals us, we play, and even relax from time to time.

We get on our “treadmill of living” and before you know it, well, we are called an “aging worker”.  “Experienced” employees are extremely valuable to organizations but they also tend to become injured more often so workers’ comp and production are affected.

A recent blog post that I wrote focused on the role of pain on a “quality of life” scale.  The more pain leads to less happiness.  Pain affects employee morale and production.  Injuries such as back and shoulder injuries cost companies across the US billions of dollars each year and studies show that too many of those claims are attributable to the aging workforce.

What can management do to help maintain production and morale with the inevitable aging workforce?

Fountain_of_Youth_RSVP-MedspaYour aging workers don’t want pain; they want more energy; and want to feel younger.  Who doesn’t?!  It would be nice if we were selling water from the Fountain of Youth that could turn back the clocks of our bodies to more youthful times.  I only wish!

However, FIT does provide a solution to pain and work place injuries. 

What if you could provide employees with real, practical solutions for their pain?  It is a false belief that age causes our aches and pains.  It is actually a convenient cop-out.  We assign all sorts of maladies to getting old.  Well many 40, 50, 60 and 70 year olds have “disagreed” with that mindset and remain extremely active and vital.

Back, shoulder and other sprain/strain injury and discomfort most often is the result of Cumulative Micro Trauma (CMT).  CMT is highly preventable. Injury data from our clients have proven that when employees are properly educated on how to perform their job duties specifically and how to mitigate muscle tension through job based stretching, injuries and lost work days significantly decrease.

ageeyeThe process is amazing to behold.  Just recently a manager of airline mechanics observed workers going through the Backsafe® workshop and couldn’t believe that they were eagerly participating and appreciating learning skills that could be applied to their lives immediately.

The aging workers enthusiastically buy-in because of the immediate physical benefits.

Aging isn’t the reason for all aches, pains and injury.  Many of our clients’ employees have discovered that and we want your employees to know it too.

Let’s talk about how we can work together to prevent injuries AND save you workers’ comp costs!  Contact me today.

Life Changing? Heck yeah!

April 2, 2018

OilChange.58d2770c4e8c2Last week I swear I heard an ad on the radio about how a company’s oil change was life changing!  I started laughing because what I hadn’t realized until I heard that, is that “life changing” is the buzz word in marketing today.  Life changing diets, teeth whitening, vacations, hair plugs, all are promoting a need to change our lives.  What is so bad about the ones we have now?  I am not denigrating the value of any of these things, but an oil changeReally?

In my life I have had some life changing events for sure:

  • When I got married—definitely a life changerfood-couple-sweet-married.jpg
  • When I got divorced, another life changer
  • Oh, and married again…for SURE a life changer
  • Having children certainly changed my life.  I went from caring about my golf handicap to nurturing little ones.

You can’t really compare an oil change with having kids, can you??

When I heard this hyperbolic pitch to sell more quarts of oil, I reflected on what our company does for a living.  Recently, I read a quote from an employee who had experienced a series of annual Backsafe® workshops.  He used to have back pain a couple of times a year, and now he “has had 4 straight pain free years”.  Yet another employee said that Backsafe “fixed all my back problems and pain.”

I compared those employees’ feedback with the oil change ad and I thought “Man, that oil changing company has a pretty low standard for changing people’s lives.”trade-deficit

80% of the population incurs a back incident in their lifetime.  That is a horrific statistic.  Talk about life changing!  Back and shoulder injuries cost US companies up to $60 billion per year.  These injuries are “budget” changing too!

Being properly trained can prevent one of the most painful injuries a person can experience.  Preventing these claims have helped companies to save thousands of lost work days per year, saved millions of dollars in workers’ comp costs; and helped increase worker production all at the same time.1475793789402

Let us help you change a life or two.  And when there are less work related injuries there just may be more bonus money that can be spent on hair plugs, teeth whitening and even a great oil change or two!

The “Way of the World”, Lost Production & Workers’ Comp

March 27, 2018

old-teaching-youngProbably every young person has, at one time or another, heard “Well dear, that is just the ‘way of the world’”. This response is a catch-all response for things that are hard to explain; aren’t pleasant; or for things that have been a certain way for a long time for no particular reason.

Twenty seven years ago, when I was first introduced to the wonderful world of Workers’ Comp, I actually got that response from a client risk manager. It was in response to my naïve question at the time, “why are there so many back injuries”?  I had asked this question because, being new to workers’ comp, I discovered that back claims were one of the most common claims and the MOST expensive. I spoke to Risk Managers, Operation Managers, HR Directors and I got the impression that despite what they did to prevent these injuries, they kept on happening.

Well, today, 27 years later, we have solved the back injury riddle. We don’t have to say back injuries are the “way of the world” any longer. Logically speaking it didn’t make sense that the human spine was designed to fail more quickly than other parts of the human body.

why

There HAD to be a reason for these “breakdowns” other than it was the “way of the world”. Like anything else once you discover the “WHY” of a problem the solution is relatively simple.

Do you know why 80% of the population has a back incident in their lifetime? FIT discovered the basic reason for most back injuries that occur on and OFF the job.
We have now implemented the solution to over 1 million employees across North America with remarkable success. The most gratifying aspect to our clients’ management teams is that they are receiving THANK YOU’s from employees for providing the Backsafe® training that serves them and their families on and off the job.

“For years, my back would hurt a couple of times a year. Since starting at CDW and starting regular stretching with the Backsafe classes, I have had 4 pain free years.”

Employers now can prevent their most expensive claims and increase communication and TRUST with their employees at the same time. We don’t have all the answers to the “ways of the world” but we do for back injuries! They no longer fit into that description. The “way of the world” is for employees to go to work and to return home safe and healthy.

Getting Older Doesn’t Have To Hurt!

October 16, 2017

payments-2Aging is an interesting process.  We get wiser, more confident in who we are, more competent in our chosen line of work and hobbies, and overall settle in to our way of life.

There is also another phenomenon that occurs.  Most people as they age experience an onset of aches and pains.  It isn’t something that just happens overnight.  It happens via an insidious gradient, little by little until one day it registers as discomfort or pain.

Then with life going 100 miles per hour, we ignore this non-optimum condition with hopes of it disappearing, or simply acquiescing and justify it by assuming it is just “aging”.

Let me pose this question:  Do you feel discomfort or pain on your body?  Many readers will answer “yes” to this question.  After your “personal pain audit” you may have discovered something not optimum in your low back, neck and shoulders, dull head ache, wrist or forearms.plumber-with-back-pain_1368-544

I have asked people “Why do you put up with this discomfort?”  Many answer “I guess it is just me aging” and most don’t know it is possible to get rid of it.

I can go on a major rant right now on how poorly served we are by a society that has never taught us how to manage our own pain and discomfort, instead directing us to see prescriptions and surgeons.  But I will refrain!

The cycle of a typical sprain/strain injury event is fatigue (a muscle or joint tiring from sustained postures, repetitive stress, etc.), discomfort, pain and then if unattended to, the injury.

We have been dedicated, for 25 years, to teaching employees and management how to self manage their own health.  It is so simple to do!  Cumulative micro-trauma is the cause of most sprain/strains. The discomfort that you earlier detected on your body is stored micro trauma.

For most of us, all we have to do are 3 things to alleviate it or even permanently get rid of it.

Isolate the cause—what postures or repetitive activity is the primary cause.

Change the physical behaviors that are causing it (lifting, pushing, pulling incorrectly, sitting incorrectly, keyboard, mouse, monitor in incorrect positions, etc.)

Relieve aches and pains with the correct stretches using the correct technique in the correct order.

We have discovered that much musculoskeletal discomfort and pain is preventable.  Backsafe® is our training workshops that teaches employees in just 2 hours how to do physical work on and off the job and teaches simple yet powerful stretches that rid the body of that pent up discomfort creeping in on their lifestyles.  This pent up discomfort left unattended can accumulate to a point that causes the $50,000 claim and lost work time.  Finally a workable solution to back and shoulder claims, right!!

Sittingsafe® is our office ergonomic training program that teaches people how to sit correctly and how to adjust their existing workstations so not to cause pain and discomfort; and the Sittingsafe stretches are almost too good to be true!  Headaches, neck and shoulder pain, low back pain have disappeared by just knowing what stretch to do to relieve it, combined with correcting the exacerbating sitting and working positions.

draft_lens17603987module148010435photo_1296861127No-medicationIn summary, aging doesn’t have to be accompanied by pain and discomfort.  We don’t need pain medications to live our lives.  The body is a miraculous contrivance.  It heals well if given the chance.

We teach people what we all should have learned years ago—How to self manage musculoskeletal discomfort; how to prevent painful injuries; and how to stay away from pain medications and unnecessary surgeries.

Contact us (800.775.225) to discuss how we can help put your employees more in charge of their own health.  It is a win-win.  Employees not in pain and windfall savings for the company.

Sitting…Ergonomics…and the Executive

May 22, 2017

OFFICE-WORKER-SLOUCHINGWe have all heard about the studies on sitting and how it can negatively impact our health.  It has been proven that sitting for extended periods of time is not good for us.

Office personnel, especially executives, spend a lot of time sitting and looking at a computer.  This sustained posture can cause neck and shoulder discomfort, headaches, low back pain, a sort of malaise, and shall I say it??? a feeling of “I’m getting old”!

Executives, many times, are too busy to even acknowledge the onset of chronic discomfort until lifestyles are affected.

25 years ago we discovered that the “laws of sitting” are not being taught.  This lack of education was exposed when our society became dependent on computers, allowing access to the world while seated in an office or home.

The exposure of this lack of knowledge manifested via fatigue, discomfort, pain and for some, even injury.  ATTEMPTED solutions have included ergonomic chairs, keyboards, sit-stand desks, treadmills with keyboards, etc.  Ergonomic solutions are certainly important, but my gosh, they can become quite expensive.  Moreover, how frustrating it is to the person with wrist, back or neck pain when the $800 chair doesn’t quite eliminate the problem.

Knowledge is power as the saying goes.  There are simple laws of how to sit.  Violation of these laws cause accelerated “micro trauma”. The accumulation of insidious micro trauma is called Cumulative Micro Trauma (CMT) which is the cause of the symptoms mentioned above.

If you assess your body right now, we know that in one or several areas you will feel your own CMT.  The good news is once we know the true source of a problem, the problem can be solved.

The laws of sitting, once known, puts people in charge of how they feel.  What we can do is learn how to sit properly, learn how to set up our chairs, monitors, keyboards, and yes, get rid of CMT by doing certain stretches designed specifically for executives and office support personnel.

I will share some of the laws that we teach in our Sittingsafe® workshops across North America over the next few newsletters.

Here is our first Sittingsafe tip:

blood-vessels-sem-1ykwp1oYour body has 62,500 miles of blood vessels (amazing fact!).  Blood provides oxygen, nutrition and takes away waste.  A law of sitting is to prevent closed angles.  Your ankles, knees, hips and elbows should be positioned at 90 degrees or slightly more to assist blood flow.  Key factors to open angles are the height of your chair and position of your keyboard, mouse and monitor.  Do not let your computer and office furniture dictate your body’s positions.  Adjust your chair so that your knees are slightly below your hips, for most of the day make sure your feet aren’t tucked under your chair (closes ankle and knee angles!)

When typing, your hands should be on the keyboard at the same height or slightly below your elbow (keyboard trays are needed by most people) and the same is true for the mouse.

We will continue these tips in our next newsletter.

Please keep in mind that it is quite simple to alleviate most discomfort caused by sitting.  You just need to know the laws of sitting contained in our Sittingsafe program!

FIT has trainers available across the US and Canada to conduct on-site Sittingsafe workshops for office and executive personnel.  We don’t sell furniture or ergonomic equipment.  We teach people what society forgot to teach us.  Knowledge is power!  Especially if it makes us feel good!

Contact us for more information on our Sittingsafe program (800.775.2225)

Dennis Downing, CEO

Future Industrial Technologies, Inc.

Luck vs. Prepared

March 27, 2017

four-leaf-cloverLuck, A Poor Workers’ Comp Strategy

I have been in the workplace injury prevention business now for over 25 years.  I wish I had a $10 bill for every time I heard “we are lucky so far, injuries are way down”, or “we’ve had some bad luck lately, our injuries are up”, or something to that effect.

Luck appears to have a lot to do with back injuries in particular.  I spoke to a nurse not too long ago and after discussing a spate of back injuries to her colleagues she said “I guess I am just lucky.”

It’s certainly nice to have luck on our side, but unfortunately it is not always dependable.  In business and in life, the less control we have over something the more we have to rely on luck; not exactly a highly successful strategy!

Control is a word that is sometimes maligned, however, it is a huge key to our success, health and happiness.  The more control we have over aspects of our lives, the more successful we are.  Whether it be a bicycle, car, computer, job, finances, or our minds, optimal control makes life more fun and rewarding.

When we were creating the Backsafe® Injury Prevention Programs, we had to understand the exact cause of back injuries to offer reliable and consistent solutions.  We couldn’t sell four leaf clovers for very long and get away with it!

We discovered that when people learned the actual cause of back, shoulder and other sprain/strain types of injuries; and learned how to prevent them as it applied to their lives, back injuries went way down and in some companies almost ceased!

We rely on luck significantly more so when we can’t control well.  4da72e5455df7cfd9c13d6086ff441c9The Vegas slot machine is virtually all luck because of a total lack of control of those spinning dials.

Your employees can control their health better.  They just need to become aware of how to do that.  The more your employees control their own well-being, the more you are controlling your workers’ comp costs, productivity and lost time.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Everything in nature goes by law, and not by luck”.

The spine (shoulders, wrists, neck too) operates on its own laws, and when one knows them it should last a lifetime…no luck needed!

Dennis Downing, CEO

Future Industrial Technologies, Inc. 

 


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