While attending a Risk Management Conference last month, I had an “Aha!” moment upon learning about ART®. ART stands for Active Release Techniques. ART has been around for quite some time, but around a decade ago, ART began delivering on-site care to corporations that had significant expenses in the area of MSDs, high recordable injury rates, or that simply wanted to prevent conditions from developing as their populations age.
Soft tissue injuries comprised 69% of the total recordable injuries for ACTenviro in 2016. By implementing a preventive maintenance program for our employees, I can help to reduce our recordable injury rate significantly through eliminating many, if not all, soft tissue injuries. Prevention is a significant part of my job and prevention is a large part of the ART program, so for me this was a match made in heaven!
Besides being a physically challenging job, ACT has an aging workforce, our employees have activities outside of work, many of us have poor posture and many other factors take a physical toll our bodies. So why not invest in some preventive maintenance on the human body? In California, we do it every 90 days for our commercial vehicles, why not for the people that work just as hard? Our employees are the most valuable asset we have, yet traditionally they may only receive an annual fitness for duty physical or are only cared for in the event they are injured significantly enough to warrant medical intervention. With ART, we can maintain the muscular wellness of our workforce and prevent musculoskeletal disorders from occurring. It’s time to be proactive instead of reactive!
ART providers use hands-on therapy for a wide variety of conditions involving soft tissue muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and trapped nerves. ART has been proven to eliminate pain and dysfunction without medication or surgery. Another win for our employees! The basic premise is that scar tissue builds up at the injury site, trapping nerves or preventing tendons, ligaments and muscles from working properly. It is as if your muscles are adhered together when they should be moving smoothly across one another. The practitioner finds the scar tissue and frees up the adhesions by putting manual tension on it while moving the muscle through a full range of motion to release the problem area.
So, why is this such a significant win for ACTenviro and our employees? It is because what has been done in the past isn’t always a recipe for the future, and it isn’t always best for the employee. All too often, once workers are referred to worker’s comp, they lose time on the job and they don’t necessarily get better. That’s why we’re always striving to improve our approaches to our employees’ well-being. For me, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”!
Stay tuned to hear updates on our progress with ART!
– Krista Wood Harsono, Director of Compliance