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Case Study 2
Following a back injury in May 2011, and subsequent back surgery in July
2011, this injured worker was struggling to return to his pre-injury duties
as an industrial machine operator. He was lacking strength, guidance and
motivation to return to a physically demanding job.
The insurance company contacted Rehab Options Work Conditioning to conduct
a task analysis for the workplace and subsequent functional capacity
assessment for this worker.
The task analysis provided a comprehensive description of all the
pre-injury duties and available suitable duties within the workplace for
this injured worker. By completing a functional capacity assessment, the
current functional abilities of this injured worker were determined. With
this information, suitable duties within the worker's restrictions were
identified and the injured worker was able to return to his normal hours
within the workplace completing light duties.
As the worker improved his capacity, through exercise physiology treatment,
designed with his pre-injury duties goals in mind, he was able to upgrade
through the available suitable duties until he eventually became capable of
returning to his normal pre-injury duties. By identifying suitable duties,
the worker realised that he was capable of doing light work and by taking
small steps was able to then achieve his goals of returning to his
pre-injury job as a machine operator.
The benefits of returning injured workers to the workplace as soon as
possible are both physically and emotionally important. Research has shown
that workers who return to work sooner in some capacity have a more
positive long term outcome to their overall injury status and recovery.
Return to work is therefore an important treatment goal, and determining
suitable duties and a worker's individual capacity become a valuable
What the client says:
Sitting at home doing nothing was degrading and depressing. Through work
conditioning, I was able to return to work on identified suitable duties
whilst I improved my strength to return to my job. Physically and
emotionally, I don't know where I would be if someone hadn't stepped in and
guided my return to work. As a bonus, they gave me exercises to continue
with for the rest of my working career to prevent anything like this