FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY EVALUATIONS (FCE)
A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a 2-4 hour evaluation using actual or simulated job activities to accurately determine an individual’s ability to perform critical work tasks. FCE’s provide information about an individual’s dynamic strength, endurance for static positions and movement tasks, body mechanics, posture, and degree of effort. FCEs are used in return to work decision making, as well as to assist in general disability determination.
OSPTA utilizes the ERGOSCIENCE Physical Work Performance Evaluation FCE system that was developed at the University of Alabama. This FCE system has demonstrated consistent reliability and accuracy supported by clinical research. The FCE report includes a statement regarding self limiting behavior and evidence of low effort if observed during the evaluation process. Also, the FCE results are interpreted, and a recommendation is made regarding the client’s feasibility for SEDENTARY, LIGHT, MEDIUM, or HEAVY duty work according to US Department of Labor guidelines.
FCEs are currently performed at the following locations:
OSPTA provides cost effective, brief functional capacity screenings as a way for employers to be confident that prospective employees can physically perform the essential tasks required for the job. Numerous studies have shown that work injury rates and costs drop substantially for employers who implement post-offer screening programs.
OSPTA is a workers’ compensation panel provider for many companies throughout western Pennsylvania and offers convenient day and evening hours so employees can receive prompt care before and after work.
OSPTA visits job sites to observe worker’s tasks, movements, equipment use, and work flow. Recommendations may be made regarding workstation design in order to minimize the workers’ physical stressors and injury risk. Job activities may be restructured in a cost effective way to assure workers’ safety and to maximize productivity.
Job tasks are observed and analyzed for the creation of a Job Description. The Job Description lists the essential tasks and tools required in the performance of a particular job. It also describes the environment conditions in which the work is performed and quantifies the physical demands required including:
• Dynamic Strength: Lifting, Carrying, Pushing and Pulling
• Mobility: Portion of the day spent walking, reaching, climbing, crawling, and twisting
• Static Positions: Portion of the day spent in sitting, standing, kneeling, squatting, and bending/stooping
This information is used to assist the employer and medical providers in return to work decisions, matching employee capabilities with work assignment, and/or to offer suggestions on job modifications that may facilitate a safe return to work.
INJURY PREVENTION/ERGONOMICS & HEALTH AWARENESS PROGRAMS
OSPTA provides employers with interactive Injury Prevention and Health Awareness presentations. Current presentation topics include “Preventing Sprain and Strain Injuries”, “Tips for Healthy Living”, “Worksite Stretching”, “Strength Training: The Fountain of Youth”, “Preventing Low Back Aches and Pains”, “Plantar Fasciitis and Ankle Sprains”, “Office Ergonomic Tips”, and “Risk Factor Awareness in the prevention of Coronary Heart Disease”. Employers may choose from one of these topics or request a topic more specific to their needs.
WORK REHABILITATION PROGRAMS (WORK RECONDITIONING/WORK HARDENING)
When an individual is deemed unable to return to a particular job after a period of acute injury management, they may referred for Work Rehabilitation. In this program, an assessment is made of the client’s overall physical condition and what is required to return them to their previous level of work. The client then begins an individualized program addressing their cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility, and includes a work simulation circuit. The program generally lasts 2 hours per session, with a decreased emphasis on modalities and manual treatment.