Conservative Care Pays off for Newport News Shipbuilding

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, “Safety first!” That’s why we offer injury prevention services, to help keep employees safe and healthy on the job.

Lifting 50 pounds of equipment all day, every day, puts a lot of strain on the body. When you factor in general fatigue and wear and tear, workers who do manual labor are naturally at risk for injury. Being proactive about early aches and pains can help keep employees healthy and reduce on-the-job injury claims.

Case in point; our onsite program at Newport News Shipbuilding where a targeted focus on safety is paying the company back in dividends. This headline in the Daily Press last year says it all: “Workers’ comp rates on decline at shipyard.”

“We have had a decline in workers’ comp claims as a result of our continued focus on safety,” shipyard spokeswoman Christie Miller told the Daily Press. “NNS has experienced a 5 percent decline in workers’ compensation claims – actual payouts.” Read full story.

That’s huge when, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, employers of other Virginia workers face average increases of 3.4 percent for the medical and lost-time costs from workers’ compensation claims.

The frequency with which Virginians make workers’ compensation claims is declining. Insurers count the number of claims per million dollars of premium income they receive, and that number is down from just under 15 in 2006 to about 13.5 in 2015, the council filing shows.

However, costs are going up due to the rising price tag of medical bills insurers pay. They’re up 38 percent since 2006, to $51,075 per case, on average, as of 2013 according to the article.

Avoiding serious injury is better for both employers and employees. And that’s exactly why Newport News Shipbuilding took advantage of Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Conservative Care program, which offers treatment to employees before discomfort becomes a recordable injury.

The program provides onsite access to a physical therapist and athletic trainer who provides evaluations and treatment. At the shipyard, a trainer assesses workers’ ailments and offers care, including targeted stretching, strengthening exercises, heat packs, or ice packs to help reduce any strain before the discomfort puts the worker at risk of injury.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And it saves money.

To learn more about our employment services, contact Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Occupational Services Division.