Using wellness programs to reduce injury risk

April 1, 2012
Some employers use wellness programs designed to directly reduce injury risk among vulnerable employee populations. CNH America LLC, a Racine, WI-based manufacturer of agriculture and construction equipment, implemented a stretching program for its plant workers before and after shifts with the aim of reducing sprain and strain injuries, said Sharif Amin, the company’s senior director of compensation and benefits.

Redwood City, CA-based DPR Construction has used a similar program for its craftsmen and construction workers. The company has implemented a “stretch and flex” program at all its construction sites and has reached 100 percent participation, according to DPR Human Resources Director Jorinne Jackson. The program goes beyond helping to prevent injuries; it has an impact on workers’ quality of life, said Rodney Spencley, the company’s environmental, health and safety director.

Spencley said workers reported feeling significantly less sore at the end of the workday after the program launched. “People like working hard, and they do not want to go home sore,” he said. “The way they can do that is they prepare themselves for the work they are going to do.”