Industrial rehabilitation is a type of physical therapy that aids employees. It is designed to assist individuals in performing their job while ensuring the highest level of safety. This is done by performing assessments, having employees engage in various types of therapy sessions, and making adjustments within the workplace.

Those that specialize in industrial rehabilitation have various levels of expertise – including standard physical therapy and occupational therapy. Industrial rehabilitation may be offered by employers. There are some employees that may elect to pursue this form of therapy on their own. Continue reading to learn more.

Woman Worker

How Does Industrial Rehabilitation Help Employees?

Industrial rehabilitation helps employees by measuring their overall strength, evaluating their endurance level, determining the positional tolerance of the individual, and reviewing the physical demands placed on the individual each day while in the workplace. It is a type of rehabilitation that also helps in determining why an employee experienced an injury and outlining practices and steps that may be taken to help that individual prevent future injuries.

How Does Industrial Rehabilitation Assist Employers?

Therapists that specialize in industrial rehabilitation assist employers in numerous ways. First, they are able to visit a job site and carefully evaluate both the included stations and styles of work within the company.

Once the evaluation is completed, the professional may then make recommendations and even provide detailed information on ergonomic-based modifications to employers so that the employees are able to perform their jobs safely and in a comfortable manner.

The recommendations offered by the industrial rehabilitation specialist assists in increasing safety within the workplace and drastically reducing the number of injuries within said workplace.

What are the 3 Main Components of Industrial Rehabilitation?

Industrial rehabilitation specialists work with employers, employees, case managers, and even insurance companies. They specialize in various work services that place an emphasis on health. The following outlines the 3 main components of the specialty:

  1. The prevention of injuries in and around the workplace
  2. Physical rehabilitation and associated treatments
  3. Getting employees to a position where they may return to work

How Does an Industrial Rehabilitation Specialist Help in Preventing Injuries in the Workplace?

Industrial rehabilitation therapists help in preventing workplace injuries by focusing on and/or providing the following:

  1. First, employee education programs are created and managed that help individuals realize the fact that musculoskeletal risks are present in the workplace.
  2. Next, the therapists help by identifying the various techniques that may be implemented in order to eliminate the overall risks that may be present in the workplace.
  3. Awareness is then increased by the therapist by providing details to employers and employees on how they may reduce the amount of physical stress endured on the job.
  4. Next, warm-up and stretching exercises are provided within programs that help to target the muscles that individuals utilize throughout the day while performing the job that they are responsible for engaging in on a day-to-day basis.

How Do Industrial Rehabilitation Specialists Help with Ergonomic Training?

Industrial rehabilitation therapists help with ergonomic training in numerous ways. Ergonomics is the unique relationship between employees and the environment in which they work.

It focuses on a particular work environment and the types of tasks performed in the environment to successfully identify risk factors that could have a detrimental impact on the dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system of the body.

This is done through an ergonomic analysis. Then, individual ergonomics and environmental ergonomics is evaluated and recommendations are made.

Workplace Safety

What is a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)?

The industrial rehabilitation therapist often performs a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). This is a type of thorough evaluation that is performed on an employee to determine their strength, positional tolerance, endurance level, and the overall demand of the workload.

The information that is gathered is then put into a result that provides an objective outline of the physical capabilities of an employee.

It may be provided to an employer, doctor, insurance company, case manager, and even a vocational consultant.

It is used to establish an individual’s functional ability or what is considered to be a functional level for when the individual may safely return to work.

It may also be used to determine short-term or long-term disability.

When is Industrial Rehabilitation Recommended for Employees?

Industrial rehabilitation is generally recommended for employees that have experienced some type of accident or illness that has impacted their overall ability to work. Additionally, it is recommended for those that have sustained an injury within the workplace.

For employees, those that work in this specialty can help those individuals determine exactly what types of tasks may be completed. It can offer work conditioning for the employee.

Finally, it may help in providing ergonomic-based evaluations of the employee’s work environment.

When is Industrial Rehabilitation Recommended for Employers?

Industrial rehabilitation is offered for employers when the following occurs:

  1. The employer is attempting to determine if an employee is able to successfully perform the functions of their job.
  2. The employer is required to perform an evaluation of an employee who is in the process of returning to work following an illness or an injury.
  3. The company is in need of performing functional capacity evaluations as part of its pre-employment screening.
  4. If the employer is in need of recommendations for modifications that are required in the workplace.
  5. If the employer has a need for a work safety program for management and/or employees.

Advance Your Career Today

If you are interested in industrial rehabilitation, you are on your way to a highly satisfying field. The position consists of both physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Additionally, you have the ability to make recommendations that will drastically improve both the success of employers and the overall safety of employees.

The starting salary for this position ranges from $41,000 – $91,000 a year – depending on your location.

If you would like to learn more or connect to like-minded professionals that specialize in therapy, we encourage you to join us here at Colorado Physical Therapy Network today!