April is for Occupational Therapy

Since 1980, the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA) has annually celebrated occupational therapy and the therapists who help improve the lives of their patients.

Occupational therapy (OT) helps injured workers resume daily work activities using rehabilitation tasks and movements that approximate their job duties. Occupational therapists help injured workers regain the skills they need to return to work, while also working with employers to identify modifications in the work environment or job duties that can accommodate any limitations the returning worker may possess – whether those limitations are of a temporary or more permanent nature.

Physical therapy (PT) and OT are often confused or get lumped together – but each has important distinctions. PT works on improving the injured individual’s physical strength, movement and functionality, whereas occupational therapists go beyond increasing endurance and range of motion to adapt the work environment and specific tasks to the injured worker’s residual level of functioning. With the two disciplines working together, PT and OT form a valuable part of any rehabilitation program that can help speed the injured individual’s return to work, reduce incidents of re-injury in the recovery and return-to-work process, and increase the chances for continued success once the return-to-work occurs.

KeyScripts maintains a national network of physical medicine providers – including occupational therapists – who follow the care and treatment protocols found in the Official Disability Guidelines (ODG), and those set forth by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Winter Workplace Safety Tips

Temps dropping? Snow flying?
Keep your people safe, healthy and on the job all winter long…

In 2014, ice, sleet and snow were responsible for more than 42,000 workplace incidents resulting in at least one day of lost work time, while the average lost work time for such injuries and illnesses was 9 days. New York led all states with more than 4,400 weather-related slip-and-falls, while Texas exhibited the highest median weather-related lost time (90 days).1 

The Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) and the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) found that through the 2012 and 2013 winter seasons, workers’ compensation claim costs for snow/ice-related injuries averaged more than $48,000.2

Injuries from weather-induced falls range from minor soreness to strains, sprains, tendon and muscle tears, injuries to more than one body part, concussions, and even traumatic brain and spine injuries.

As the season approaches, taking preventative measures can help keep your employees – and your business – from suffering through a long, cold winter.

 

 

Individuals working outdoors in winter conditions should protect themselves from cold stress, which includes conditions such as hypothermia, frostbite, trench foot, and chilblains (skin sores or bumps that occur after exposure to very cold temperatures). To prevent cold illnesses, bundle up in layers, and wear hats, scarves, gloves and thermal socks to stay warm. Wear waterproof footwear and outer garments and/or undergarments with moisture-wicking properties, and avoid working for extended periods in wet clothing. (When the body is wet, heat is more rapidly conducted away from the body, increasing the risk of cold-stress conditions.)

Make sure tools, equipment and outdoor work areas are completely free of ice and snow. Working with ladders and scaffolding in icy or snowy conditions can lead to disastrous falls; those working at heights should take particular care to ensure such equipment isn’t compromised by weather conditions, and that proper fall prevention/protection is in place (e.g., safety harnesses, ladder guards and tie-downs).

Use the buddy system. Check in on coworkers to make sure they’re not suffering from symptoms of cold stress which could put them at increased risk of falls or other weather-related incidents. For those working outdoors for extended periods, have a place out of the cold where employees can warm up and rest.

 

 

Winter-weather dangers are not limited to those working outdoors. Slick walkways and parking lots pose risks to all employees. Make sure walkways and parking lots are clear of snow and ice. Spread deicing materials to reduce the risk of employee and visitor falls. Educate employees about wearing proper clothing and footwear in winter conditions, and the importance of taking shorter, more careful steps – even on treated surfaces.

The risk of indoor falls at this time of year also increases dramatically. Entryways and hallways where snow, ice and water have been tracked in create slippery surfaces that can lead to serious injury – particularly on tile, ceramic and concrete flooring, so make sure these areas are mopped and dried frequently throughout the day, especially during peak entry and exit times.

For those whose job it is to maintain company facilities and walkways, snow and ice removal pose a wide risk of injuries related to falls, as well as muscle, joint and back stress. Remind facility workers to use proper body mechanics and shoveling techniques, while remembering to take frequent breaks and stay hydrated while working outdoors.

 

For those of us who make our home in the northeast, winter ice, sleet and snow are inevitable – but that doesn’t mean winter-related injuries have to be. Being cognizant of winter weather risks and trouble spots, taking proper precautions, and exercising special care can help you avoid winter workplace injuries and allow your company and employees to savor this splendid season.

But in the event a workplace injury occurs, KeyScripts is here to help you manage your workers’ compensation claims and serve your injured employees with timely pharmacy management, live-operator support and access to complete ancillary services.

 

 

Click the image to view the infographic about winter safety.

 


Reference:

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey – https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/42480-work-injuries-involved-ice-sleet-or-snow-in-2014.htm

2 SIMA – https://www.sima.org/news2/2016/04/29/snow-bias

 

Drug_Take_Back_Blog

Dispose of Prescription Drugs Safely

One Aspect of the Opioid Crisis is a No-Brainer…

 

Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Saturday, April 27, 2019

10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Revised 04/05/2019

Despite the increased focus on opioid abuse, particularly here in Pennsylvania, one long-overlooked aspect of prescription drug therapy is that relatively few individuals taking prescription drugs ever use their entire supply of the medication. A 2017 Johns Hopkins study showed that a large majority of persons with opioid prescriptions used only some – or even none – of the pills, and that less than 10% of those individuals disposed of their remaining pills by recommended means. A June 2016 Washington Post article revealed that nearly 60% of Americans have leftover prescription opioids in their homes – and 20% have shared those drugs with someone else.

Unused and expired prescription medications pose public safety and health issues that include misuse/abuse, poisoning, overdose, and death – and such threats are not limited to the individuals for whom the drugs are prescribed. One of the fastest growing groups of people misusing prescription medications are adolescents. By the time they are seniors, more than 20% of high school students will have used a prescription drug for a nonmedical purpose. Among young people who say they have tried illicit drugs, many also say their first experience with misusing drugs was with those found in their own homes.

Created by the U. S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a program aimed at preventing addiction, overdose and death due to the misuse of prescription drugs by providing a safe, convenient way for people to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired prescription medications. In April 2018, the initiative collected more than 474 tons of such drugs, and since the program began in 2010, nearly 5,000 tons of leftover drugs have been collected.

The Take Back program also focuses on educating Americans about the dangers of keeping prescription medications which are no longer needed in the home. The initiative reminds us to practice safe medication use by taking only those drugs which are prescribed, and in the amounts prescribed; refraining from sharing prescriptions with others; and responsibly disposing of unused portions of medications once the drug is no longer being taken. In the workplace, employers should encourage workers to take advantage of Take Back Day and dispose of any prescription drugs they no longer use or need – which they can do safely, conveniently, anonymously, and free of charge.

Proper disposal of unused prescription medications protects the environment, reduces opportunity for and incidents of addiction, and can even save lives – and it’s one battle in the war on prescription drug abuse in which we all can take an active role…and win.

 

Find a collection site near you:

https://apps.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/SEARCH-NTBI

 

Find an authorized collector for year-round drug disposal near you:

https://apps.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1

 

FDA advice on other ways to safely dispose of unused and expired drugs:

https://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm101653.htm

 

 


References:

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR1-2016/NSDUH-FFR1-2016.pdf

https://takebackday.dea.gov/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170802110541.htm

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-adolescent-substance-use-disorder-treatment-research-based-guide/introduction

http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/monographs/mtf-overview2011.pdf