Thursday, April 03, 2008

Help for your return to work

If you, as a worker, are concerned that the modified work offered is not consistent with your functional abilities you can request an ergonomic assessment to see if the work is in fact suitable. An ergonomist is someone who has studied human capabilities in relationship to work demands. Information derived from ergonomists contributes to the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products, environments and systems in order to make them compatible with the needs, abilities and limitations of people. They examine the workplace with the goal of reducing worker fatigue, discomfort and injury.

An ergonomist will be able to objectively assess the proposed working conditions and determine if they are consistent with the your restrictions and relay their findings and recommendations to you, as the worker, the employer and the WSIB . It is important for you to be present with a representative at the assessment, so that the ergonomist can view how you, not a co-worker, performs the tasks. Having a representative present allows you to voice your concerns or correct any misinformation provided. Factors such as posture and stature can be very relevant to the final recommendations.

An ergonomic assessment can be particularly helpful in cases where the relationship between the worker and employer have become strained, creating difficulties in the return to work process.

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