This is an assessment that can be performed independently or in conjunction with Work Conditioning. The assessment determines an injured worker’s ability to return to their previous job or alternate job.
The Work Capacity Evaluation (WCE) is performed by a licensed Physical or Occupational Therapist and includes: a physical assessment of the injured client, a job site analysis of the worker’s position (or a variety of available Return to Work (RTW) positions), and an evaluation of the worker’s functional abilities directly in the workplace focusing on the specific job demands and utilizing actual work site job equipment/materials, thus no “job simulation”. The assessment provides an accurate assessment, to all involved parties, of the worker’s ability to return to work.
Employee is evaluated in his/her actual work setting.
Employee is evaluated while performing his/her specific job tasks with the actual equipment used on the job.
Therapist is able to obtain a more complete understanding and evaluation of the employee’s specific job tasks in the actual work setting.
Therapist is able to observe the actual work environment for external factors that may contribute to or hinder the employee’s successful return to work (i.e. workstation set-up, type or condition of frequently used equipment). The therapist can then make recommendations for improving the work environment to the appropriate party.
In the actual work environment, the therapist is able to better observe employee’s posture, body mechanics and work habits. The therapist can make on the spot, specific recommendations for improved, safe work methods thus reducing the risk of re-injury.
Therapist can make a specific Transitional Return to Work plan for the employee, if the WCE indicates the employee is not ready to return to work without restrictions. This facilitates a faster return to work.
Therapist has direct, onsite access to the employee’s supervisor, occupational health, safety and/or human resources personnel for clarification of job responsibilities and work methods.
Employer and employee can feel confident that the onsite WCE truly depicts the employee’s ability to perform his/her specific job tasks.
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