Hire smart, reduce risk and injury, and cut costs with WorkSTEPS.


The consequences of a carpal tunnel injury

Of all the injuries that a worker can sustain, carpal tunnel injuries tend to be the most common, especially among those employees who work in office settings. Though these injuries can often be prevented through the use of certain work aids and precautions, many people still find themselves dealing with the consequences of a carpal tunnel injury. Some of these consequences that a worker and his or her company may have to deal with include:

Decreased wages
Lost work time / less work completed
Medical bills
Constant pain
Carpal tunnel injuries can end up costing both the employee and employer. As such, making sure an employee is prepared to handle the necessary repetitive motions prior to starting work or after being injured can be critical. To determine your employee’s capabilities with a scientific and legally compliant test, get in touch with the team at WorkSTEPS by calling (512) 617-4100.

Registration Open for the 2014 WorkSTEPS Provider Symposiums

Register for the 2014 WorkSTEPS Provider Symposiums!

Visit the event website.

We will be hosting the same conference in 2 locations – Austin (April 11-12, 2014) and Denver (Sept 5-6, 2014)

This year’s event will be covering:

• Ways to build a successful practice in today’s healthcare environment

• Legal updates and new information

• Protocol updates, recertification, FAQ and MORE!


Online registration for this event.

We look forward to seeing you!

WorkSTEPS Announces Jerry Hanke is New Corporate Training Director

WorkSTEPS is pleased to announce that Jerry Hanke, OTR CEAS, is its new Corporate Training Director. Jerry brings 20 years experience in the fitness and health care industry, has been specializing in industrial rehabilitation for the past 13 years, and has been certified and expertly administering the WorkSTEPS program since 2005.

Jerry transitions into the role after Lindee Greer announced her retirement from WorkSTEPS in May. Lindee worked in the position for more than two decades, and left to pursue a service position at her church. Lindee will continue to offer consultant services to WorkSTEPS on a part-time basis.

Jerry graduated from Angelo State University with a BS in Kinesiology in 1995, and then earned his Occupational Therapy Degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio in 2000. His expertise and area of interest since graduation has been in Industrial rehabilitation. Jerry is an expert in the performance of functional capacity evaluations, job assessments, employment testing, and ergonomic consulting. He is also a Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist.

WorkSTEPS Announces Partnership with Validation-Experts Biddle Consulting Group to Release New Tool to Develop Validated Physical Ability Tests

Leading Functional Employment Testing Provider WorkSTEPS Announces Partnership with Validation-Experts Biddle Consulting Group to Release New Tool to Develop Validated Physical Ability Tests
WorkSTEPS, the nation’s leading provider of functional employment testing, recently announced a partnership with Biddle Consulting Group, Inc. to release the new Physical Abilities Validation Evaluator (PAVE) tool, which is designed to develop validated Physical Ability Tests for a variety of jobs.

The PAVE tool streamlines the collection of physical ability job analysis data, and then automatically creates a Physical Ability Test for positions in a way that addresses federal testing and job analysis standards. PAVE provides an unprecedented degree of validation of the job analysis process, and ensures that the process addresses the requirements set by the federal Uniform Guidelines of Employee Selection, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. The PAVE tool was formerly known as the PATJA (Physical Abilities Testing Job Analysis).

The exclusive WorkSTEPS/Biddle partnership provides unprecedented legal defensibility of the WorkSTEPS functional employment test, already recognized as the industry’s gold-standard. The PAVE tool, for the first time, automates the creation of testing criteria to yield an objective and defensible functional employment tests.

WorkSTEPS is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and is a leading national provider of functional pre-employment and post-injury testing programs used by Corporations nationwide. Corporations use WorkSTEPS’ proprietary tests to determine the overall fitness of employment candidates to perform essential job functions and tasks. The Company’s tests are also used by its clients to compare the functional status of existing employees that are injured on the job both pre and post injury. WorkSTEPS’ appropriately administered and designed testing services help corporations mitigate the incidence and cost of worker injury, and provide them with better data used in remediation of claims such that incidence and costs are reduced almost immediately.

Biddle Consulting Group, Inc. (BCG) specializes in Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) consulting, litigation support, personnel testing software development, and Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) outsourcing and software. Since 1974, BCG has worked with thousands of employers in these areas, as well as providing litigation support as consultants or experts in over 200 State, Federal, and Circuit Court of appeal EEO cases involving statistics and/or job-relatedness (test validity) analyses. BCG has developed and validated personnel tests in hundreds of situations used by thousands of employers.

WorkSTEPS Obtains Judgment and Permanent Injunction Against ErgoScience

WorkSTEPS, the nation’s leading provider of functional employment testing, successfully obtained a judgment for infringement and an injunction against ErgoScience in a copyright-infringement lawsuit against the WorkSTEPS competitor. WorkSTEPS filed the lawsuit in Texas Federal District Court in 2010, asserting that ErgoScience infringed upon WorkSTEPS’ copyright rights and misappropriated WorkSTEPS’ trade secrets into ErgoScience’s own testing program. In 2012 the court entered judgment in favor of WorkSTEPS and against ErgoScience.

“WorkSTEPS has invested a great deal of time and capital developing and perfecting our proprietary functional employment testing program since the company was founded in 1986,” said WorkSTEPS CEO Larry Feeler. “Because of that investment, we are the leading provider of functional employment testing in the nation. It is imperative that we fight to protect our intellectual property and the integrity of our program, and we will continue to aggressively protect our product against future cases of misappropriation, infringement or unauthorized use. We’re pleased with the results.”

Fit For Work and WorkSTEPS create Strategic Partnership to Better Serve The Industrial Community

WorkSTEPS, the nation’s leading functional employment testing provider, recently announced a partnership with Fit For Work, a San Antonio-based Occupational Health and Injury Prevention Firm, to merge WorkSTEPS’ scientific pre-employment post-offer testing with Fit For Work’s early intervention and prevention programs, offering warehouse distribution and manufacturing employers two tools proven to reduce workplace injuries, lower workers’ compensation costs, and increase productivity.

The partnership will focus on injury prevention rather than injury management, and will result in increased productivity and lower costs for companies over a wide spectrum of key indicators, such as lost time, restricted duty, overall workers’ compensation costs, and OSHA incident rates.  Companies will see a reduction in cases and costs, while experiencing increases in profitability and productivity.

“Fit For Work has proven to be an exceptionally productive and efficient WorkSTEPS provider by marrying its early-intervention and prevention programming with WorkSTEPS’ proven, scientific pre-employment post-offer testing,” said WorkSTEPS CEO Larry Feeler. “We share a common business philosophy – to offer our clients proven, effective services designed to minimize workplace injuries, reduce workers’ compensation costs and increase productivity and profitability.  This partnership strengthens both WorkSTEPS’ and Fit For Work’s ability to more effectively meet the needs of our clients across the country.”

WorkSTEPS, Inc. is the nation’s leading provider of content-valid functional employment testing. Its tests are medically-safe, legally compliant, scientific and objective, and they are specifically-designed to match a worker’s functional capabilities with the essential functions of the job. WorkSTEPS has become a critical part of an organized and systematic business model that is automated, validated, measurable, and offers a predictable return on investment. Companies that begin using WorkSTEPS typically experience significant and immediate reductions in injury claims and related costs.

“Fit For Work has been working with both large and small companies for more-than a decade, and has been successful in significantly lowering workers’ compensation costs for our clients,” states Tom Tobin, MBA, OTR, CEO of Fit For Work.  “Our partnership with WorkSTEPS will allow us to expand our network nationally to offer industrial clients across the country similar reductions in workers’ compensation costs.”

For more information about Fit For Work’s services, please visit WellWorkForce.com.

WorkNEWS October 2012 – Neck and Shoulder Pain

WorkSTEPS Founder and CEO Larry Feeler on Neck and Shoulder Pain

Neck and shoulder pain are common because the head weighs 20-25 lbs and we typically maintain an upright posture for over 16 hours per day!! If you play or work at a computer or sit more than a couple of hours per day, you are MORE likely to hold the head in front of your spine, stressing the joints and ligaments. If you have ever been injured and torn muscles or ligaments in the neck, you are more susceptible to chronic pain than someone who hasn’t, AND as you age, the discs of the neck (the shock absorbers) between each vertebrae become more like a dry sponge rather than a wet one and the joints then have to bear more weight and become arthritic.

Neck-shoulder tension is a MAJOR reason patients seek chiropractic care and or are referred to physical therapy. Chiropractors pop and/or push on the neck to manipulate the vertebra and help relieve tension, and if patients feel better and get relief, such treatment is appropriate. If patients later experience different symptoms – especially arm pain – such treatment is NOT recommended. Physical therapists are the rehabilitation specialists whose expertise patients should seek for neck conditions. Therapists do not typically do forceful manipulations, instead focusing on muscle spasms and decreased neck motion. Physical therapists often also specifically mobilize segments that are limiting motion. Therapists equip patients with the knowledge of how to mobilize themselves and work on condition at home. Both professions SHOULD teach postural exercises that increase blood flow to those painful shoulder areas and keep that 25 pounds centered over the spine instead of in front where it causes extreme stress that can even affect the nerves in the neck.

WorkNEWS October 2012 – ADA’s Accommodation Article

Seventh Circuit Tips Balance on ADA’s Accommodation of Last Resort

Posted on September 23, 2012 by Michael Soltis

When an employee cannot perform the essential functions of his or her position, with or without an accommodation due to a disability, an employer must consider “the accommodation of last resort”—transfer to a vacant lateral or lower position for which the employee is qualified.
Circuit courts had been evenly divided on whether an individual with a disability is entitled to that vacant position—a “mandatory preference” — or must compete with other candidates for it.  The Seventh Circuit has now changed its position to join the “mandatory preference” view.

When an employee cannot perform the essential functions of his or her position, with or without an accommodation due to a disability, an employer must consider “the accommodation of last resort”—transfer to a vacant lateral or lower position for which the employee is qualified.

Circuit courts had been evenly divided on whether an individual with a disability is entitled to that vacant position—a “mandatory preference” — or must compete with other candidates for it.  The Seventh Circuit has now changed its position to join the “mandatory preference” view. Considering its earlier position in light of the 2002 United States Supreme Court decision in U.S. Airways, Inc. v. Barnett, the Seventh Circuit held “that the ADA does indeed mandate that an employer appoint employees with disabilities to vacant positions for which they are qualified, provided that such accommodations would be ordinarily reasonable and would not present an undue hardship to that employer.”  EEOC v. United Airlines, Inc., (7th Cir. September 7, 2012).

The Tenth and D.C. Circuits also hold the “mandatory preference” view. The Eighth Circuit is the lone circuit to take the “opportunity to compete” view. In 2008, the United States Supreme Court was to resolve the issue by reviewing the an Eighth Circuit decision but dismissed the case as moot when the parties settled their dispute. Eventually, this issue will percolate up to the Supreme Court again. Until then, circuit matters.

Click here to view the article at Jackson Lewis Disability, Leave, & Health Management Blog

WorkNEWS October 2012 – Adverse Impact Article

Adverse Impact on Co-Workers of a Requested Accommodation under ADA Relevant in Determining Essential Functions

Posted on September 23, 2012 by Michael Soltis

We posted recently about an Eighth Circuit decision in which the court held that rotating shifts was an essential function because “[i]f [plaintiff] were switched to a straight day shift and not required to work the rotating shift, then other Resource Coordinators would have to work more night and weekend shifts.”

Another court has now held that the impact of an employee’s requested accommodation on co-workers is a factor in determining the essential functions of a position.  In EEOC v. Ford Motor Company (E.D. Mo. Sept. 10, 2012), the EEOC argued that “regular attendance was not an essential function” of the plaintiff’s buyer position because she could have performed her job duties at home up to four days per week as an accommodation for her medical condition.  In rejecting that argument and granting summary judgment to the employer, the court held that regular attendance was an essential function of the position, in part because plaintiff’s “frequent unpredictable absences negatively affected her performance and increased the workload of her colleagues.”

These two cases suggest an employer should consider raising the “adverse impact on co-workers” of a requested accommodation at both the “essential functions” and “reasonable accommodation” stages of the “qualified individual” analysis.

This case also has helpful analysis on telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation. It cites numerous decisions in support of its conclusion that “in general, courts have found that working at home is rarely a reasonable accommodation”….and that this case did not present “the exceptional case where a work-at-home accommodation would be reasonable.” (emphasis added).

Click here to read full article at Jackson Lewis Disability, Leave & Health Management Blog

WorkNEWS October 2012 – Self Insured Leakage Costs

16 Ways Leakage is Costing the Self Insured

Published By ReduceYourWorkersComp – Author: Rebecca Shafer, JD

The failure by the self insured’s third party administrator (TPA) or in-house staff adjusters to comply with workers’ compensation claim handling Best Practices normally results in higher than necessary claim cost. Just like in any other business, the failure to manage the cost of doing business – known as leakage – places the self-insured employer at a disadvantage in the market place. To recover the excess cost of poor claims handling, the company must raise the amount they charge for their products or services to cover the additional cost.

Leakage in an insurance claim is any payment on the claim that is more than it should be. Leakage is normally defined as the difference between what the claims adjuster spent and the amount he/she should have spent. Leakage has also been defined as the lost opportunity to save money on the claim. In essence, leakage is excess and unnecessary claim costs.
Click here to view full article

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