Leading companies around the world are instituting Industrial Athletic Training programs into the workplace to promote smarter and safer work performance. They are treating their employees like professional athletes and providing them with on-site Athletic Trainers to keep them “on the field” performing their best.
With a growing number of companies treating their employees like professional athletes and utilizing Athletic Trainers as an extension of their OHS team, you might be wondering whether or not your facility would benefit from such a partnership.
But first, what exactly is an Athletic Trainer?
What are Athletic Trainers?
According to the National Athletic Training Association (NATA):
“Athletic trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize patient and client activity and participation in athletics, work and life. The practice of athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination and diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of emergent, acute, sub-acute, and chronic neuromusculoskeletal conditions and certain medical conditions in order to minimize subsequent impairments, functional limitations, disability, and societal limitations.”
In more simple terms, Athletic Trainers are one-stop health care providers from injury prevention and wellness promotion through rehab and recovery from an injury.
Their education covers many areas of anatomy, nutrition and physiology and they must hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in athletic training and pass an examination by the Board of Certification to qualify as an ATC.
With expertise in both injury prevention and treatment, Athletic Trainers provide tremendous value in many work environments and are the perfect partner for your OHS team.
The Advantages of Sports Medicine in the Workplace
According to Wikipedia:
Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness, treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise.
The traditional setting for Athletic Trainers is in the sports world, where they practice Sports Medicine. They are the ones you typically see run out onto the field after an athlete suffers an injury.
What you don’t see however, is the countless hours the Athletic Trainer spends in the training room on injury prevention. They spend that time helping Athletes recover from each practice and each game so they can go back on the field the next day, prepared for the next practice and the next game.
Athletic Trainers put these same principles into practice with your workplace athletes! An Industrial Athletic Training program ensures that employees are prepared for their next day at work.
An on-site Athletic Trainer can work with your employees to:
- Use proper body mechanics, lifting technique and posture
- Use safe work practices
- Use the injury prevention tools available to them
- Keep their body fit for work
- Practice healthy lifestyle habits
The Benefits of Industrial Athletic Training
1. Athletic Trainers are trained specifically in injury prevention.
From the football field to the shop floor, ATC’s are trained to think prevention first. They’re capable of understanding and applying prevention principles in a variety of settings. Is it your goal to prevent injuries at your facility? Adding an Athletic Trainer to your team provides you with a dedicated injury prevention specialist for your facility.
2. Athletic Trainers have unique knowledge of the human body’s capabilities and limitations.
This kind of human performance expertise provides you with an “eye” to see both problem areas and improvement opportunities. Because identifying and reducing risk factors in the workplace is an important part of workplace injury prevention, an Athletic Trainer’s “eye” can add tremendous value to your OHS process.
3. Athletic Trainers provide personalized attention to employees.
When a facility has an Athletic Trainer on-site, employees have access to face-to-face coaching for their injury prevention and wellness needs. And they love it. Personalized attention to their unique health concerns, interests and goals wins over employees and gains their support which in turn creates a positive safety and wellness culture for your facility.
4. Athletic Trainers are able to educate and train employees on prevention and wellness.
Education and training is deeply rooted in the Athletic Training curriculum and certification process. Because human performance revolves around humans and the way they use their bodies to accomplish tasks, educating, training and motivating people is a core component of the Athletic Trainer’s skill set.
5. Athletic Trainers help people get back to 100% health faster.
In addition to their skills as prevention specialists, Athletic Trainers are also trained in rehabilitation and recovery from injuries. Providing employees that are returning to work after an injury with an on-site Athletic Trainer can speed up recovery time and effectiveness.
Industrial Athletic Training — A Healthy Return on Investment
Hopefully we’ve communicated the value an Athletic Trainer can provide in the workplace setting well enough that you’re contemplating adding an ATC to your health and safety team. If so, you might be wondering how you can justify the cost of adding another member to your team.
The good news is that the value far outweighs the cost and there is a clear business case for ATC’s in the workplace.
The NATA conducted a national survey of industrial companies that utilize the services of an athletic trainer.
Results of the study showed:
100% of the companies reported the athletic trainer provides a favorable return-on-investment (ROI).
Of the above companies that tracked a specific ROI amount:
- 30% indicated the ROI was at least $7/employee per $1 invested
- 83% indicated the ROI was more than $3/employee per $1 invested
- 94% of companies indicated the severity of injuries had decreased by at least 25%
- 68% of the companies indicated that the certified athletic trainer helped to decrease restricted workdays and workers’ compensation claims for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) by more than 25%
- 50% of companies reported that the number of injuries decreased by at least 50%
- 46% of the companies that provided on-site physical rehabilitation indicated that health care costs had decreased by more than 50%
(Our own findings validate these results. For more cost-reduction data and client success stories, click here to visit our results page.)