AbiliTech Solutions

By: Abilitech  09-12-2011
Keywords: disability, Ergonomics, Functional Abilities Evaluations

Abilitech Solutions Inc. provides innovative and cost-effective solutions through the following services:

Ergonomics is a science which emphasizes the importance of designing workstations (i.e. office furniture or industrial work areas and equipment) to fit the individual worker.

"Ergonomics and human factors use knowledge of human abilities and limitations to design systems, organizations, jobs, machines, tools, and consumer products for safe, efficient, and comfortable human use."

The goal of an ergonomic evaluation is to identify ergonomic risk factors and determine the most effective strategy for controlling or eliminating the potentially harmful effects of force, repetition, awkward postures, static positions, contact stress, vibration and cold/hot temperatures.

The AbiliTech approach consists of:

  1. Detailed on-site assessment of the job activities and the related physical demands
  2. Identification of any potential risk factors
  3. Development of solutions
  4. Implementation of the solutions
  5. Follow-up of implementations

Functional abilities evaluations are a systematic and proven method of measuring an employee's capacity and tolerances for meeting the demands of job tasks. Our experienced professionals are specially trained in the ARCON Functional Abilities Evaluation system. The ARCON Functional Abilities Evaluation system is a state of the art testing system based on internationally accepted principles. Combined with the ARCON, our Kinesiologists will perform clinical functional tests including work simulation tests. The FAE is usually completed after an employee has sustained injury in order to determine if the individual can return to their previous work or if they should work in another area more suitable to their functional capacity.

Benefits of the Computerized ARCON Testing Protocol:

  • Objective Testing Results
  • Isoinertial Lifting System with Heart Rate Monitor
  • Static Strength Testing
  • Impairment Rating
  • Maximum Voluntary Effort Testing
  • Consistency of Effort Testing
  • Methods-Time Measurement Testing
  • Detailed easy to read reports

The Physical Demands Analysis is a quantitative examination of the physical demands of the essential duties of a specific job. A Physical Demand Analysis (PDA) assesses the stressors experienced by a worker during each component of a job task. Since a job frequently involves multiple tasks, the PDA systematically incorporates the frequency and forces experienced during each task and gives a balanced and overall assessment of all physical stresses experienced by the worker while doing the job. A PDA normally includes descriptions of the following parameters:

  • essential and non-essential demands of the job (critical task analysis)
  • organization of the work (e.g., workflow, work methods) the workplace and work environment (e.g., air quality, noise, vibration)
  • physical demands of each task within a job, including range of motion, forces and duration of forces
  • cognitive (mental) requirements or stresses of each job

This information can be used for many purposes including:

  • It allows health professionals and Return to Work Coordinators to comprehend the requirements of a job and, as a result, shortens the timeline for return to work of injured and ill employees.
  • Job Demands Analysis are used in the identification of ergonomic hazards in a job. Ergonomists use this data during the design of the job, process or work method. This minimizes employee risk for injury, error and/or illness.
  • Pre-placement screening: The PDA data is used in the development of Pre-placement Screening Tests. As your employees are placed into more demanding jobs or hired into your workplace, it may be necessary to screen them via pre-placement screening.
  • Assisting in the return to work process by providing information for the following rehabilitation processes:
    • Functional Abilities Evaluations
    • Return to Work Planning
    • Job Accommodations

AbiliTech Solutions Inc. can assist your company in setting up a collaborative workplace disability management program which will benefit your company in the following ways;

  • Facilitating early identification, referral, and treatment for disability and/or injuries at work
  • Facilitating the return to work process of an injured worker
  • Providing education and early intervention services to prevent or minimize the effects of disability in the workplace
  • Promotion of injury prevention and reduction
  • Assist in the administration of the WSIB claims.
  • Assisting employees with disabilities in overcoming disability-related restrictions or limitations,
  • Implementation of polices regarding return to work and workplace accommodation

Screening prospective employees for their suitability to work is a preventive tool that may assist to combat the rising cost of work related injuries. Performing functional assessments on an individual in order to determine their physical capacity for work will identify any functional deficiencies or risk factors that may predispose an individual to a work related injury.

A post-offer employment screen is designed to determine if there is a match between the individual’s functional capabilities and the job specific demands. A Physical Demands Analysis is mandatory for the completion of post-offer screening in order to accurately simulate the specific job demands.

Objective, valid, and defensible test results are produced utilizing ARCON functional computerized testing equipment. The testing protocol is tailored to the essential duties of the job position. Test components typically consist of static and dynamic lifting, hand grip/pinch strength tests, range of motion, and any other relevant job specific tasks. Results are compared with industrial normative data.

There are several benefits of performing Post-offer employment screening; of most importance, the prevention of unnecessary injury and human suffering. Benefits for the employer include; decrease in job turnover, decrease in WCB costs, and decrease in job absenteeism. Additionally, the post-offer screen can serve as a baseline measurement to allow for objective documentation of an individual’s functional capacity which may be beneficial in determining a worker’s post-injury level of function, and whether they are capable of returning to work following an injury.

AbiliTech Solutions Inc. can provide custom designed education programs designed to meet the individual needs of your company. Typical topics include; ergonomics, injury prevention/reduction, exercise, nutrition, occupational health and safety law, and stress management.

Psychological factors can cause significant disruptions in the workplace and are a key cause of disability even though disorders such as depression, anxiety and stress are often quite treatable conditions once identified. Unfortunately, stigma can be associated with mental illness which makes people reluctant to seek help. As well, cognitive factors, such as learning disabilities and memory problems may be other ‘hidden’ sources of problems that remain relatively invisible until circumstances such as a change in work routine arises and there are problems in making adjustments. To ‘shine light’ on these issues, we offer psychological assessment and neuropsychological assessment services which involve your employee being seen for a formal clinical interview and objective psychometric testing including such instruments as intelligence tests and personality tests. We will make recommendations that provide helpful health and human resources information about treatment options, potential job accommodations as well as mental and emotional fitness to work.

Keywords: disability, Ergonomics, Functional Abilities Evaluations