Industrial hygienists who play a role in the occupational health management of musculoskeletal injuries must use effective communication techniques and strategies to implement a successful program.
That was the message conveyed today at a roundtable session the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHCE) in Orlando, Fla.
Joyce Anderson, an industrial hygienist with Compliance Specialties Inc., Littleton, Colo. told attendees that it is important to first identify all those who are going to be a part of the process.
"Many different people are usually involved in medical case management so it is important to identify all those involved and define their roles in the process," said Anderson. "Devising a step by step process and putting the policy in writing will mitigate confusion and present accountability."
Getting that information to all of those involved, including company managers, EHS directors, risk managers and health care providers, can be done by holding meetings, telephone calls and newsletters.
Anderson pointed out that industrial hygienists playing a role in occupational health management of musculoskeletal disorders have four elements they need to keep in mind: evaluation, solutions, feedback and training.
"When evaluating the situation with the health care professional, you need to determine what to do? who does it? and how are you going to do it?," said Anderson.
Coming up with the proper solutions is dependent upon the seriousness of the employees'' injury, according to Anderson.
When this is determined, engineering and workplace controls can be implemented.
Anderson noted that training does not only include employers and employees but also risk managers, human resource staff and health care professionals who are involved in the process.
by Virginia Sutcliffe