BCBSRI was able to reduce MSD related Workers Compensation cases with lost workdays by implementing a New Ergonomic Program in March 2000 and increasing workstation evaluations. Exhibit 2 shows the number of evaluations and the impacts for 1999-2002.
An important initiative was the involvement of every department within BCBSRI. Partners in the ergonomics initiative included:
Building Services - installed ergonomic keytrays or move/adjust furniture and equipment
Data communications - discussed moving PCs, types of PC equipment on market, request laptop adaptors, etc.
Facilities - discussed moves, type of furniture to be installed, make arrangements with outside vendor to discuss ergonomic features of furniture
Occupational Health Nurse - interacted with Optimal Returns Case Manager and Ergonomic Team
Office Services - delivered ergonomic supplies if evaluation not necessary
Optimal Returns Case Manager - reviewed return-to-work cases and ergonomic impact
Voice Communications - moved telephones (if necessary), installed of headsets
Furniture Vendors - reviewed type of furniture installed and what types of ergonomic equipment may be on the market
Beacon Mutual (workers compensation carrier) - discussed special cases that may require a certified ergonomist to assist
On-going and future initiatives being considered by the safety committee included:
Analyzing Trends - further analyzing trends within departments to see where additional emphasis could be placed to identify possible high risk areas.
Completing Ergonomic Certifications - sending enrollment applications to the National Association of Safety Professionals for a Certified Ergonomic Technician (CET) training course. It was anticipated that at least two members of the Ergonomic Committee would be certified in 2003.
Conducting Brown Bag Lunches - potential topics included "Kids Ergonomics" and "Home Ergonomic Setups."
Conducting Ergonomic Mouse Study - preliminary discussions were held with GoldTouch Technologies in December 2002 to conduct an ergonomic study as to effects an ergonomic mouse has on MSDs.
Conducting Headset Study - preliminary discussions were held with Joy Boese of Consulting Corporation in November 2002 to conduct an ergonomic study on headsets.
Conducting Management Ergonomic Awareness Session - planned to present ergonomic awareness sessions to management with Beacon Mutual as the principal presenter.
Developing Ergonomic Intranet Site - planned the development of an ergonomic website in which all employees could access ergonomic information.
Developing Ergonomic Training Brochure - planned the development of a brochure that could be distributed to all employees which would include correct keyboard and chair adjustments.
Promoting Ergonomic Programs to BCBSRI Providers and Customers - discussed with Good Health Benefit to see if their Ergonomic Program could be shared with others (labs, providers, etc.) who interact with BCBSRI.
Researching Ergonomic Products - Wrist Oasis wrist rests were purchased as a result of this continuing effort to select the best ergonomic products.
Researching Voice Recognition - a test was done of Dragon Systems voice recognition product in June 2002. A survey was planned for 2003 to determine if this could be a viable solution to reduce MSDs for the future.
Revising Evaluation Tracking System - planned to create a Microsoft Access database to simplify input of ergonomic data and create specialty reports
Training Telecommuters on Ergonomic Issues - planned to address needs in the future.
Updating Ergonomic Orientation Presentation - realized that orientation materials need continual updating.