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Success with Ergonomics
Turner Broadcasting Systems

 
State: Georgia
   
Company: Turner Broadcasting Systems
Atlanta, GA
   
Industry: Television - SIC Code: 36
   
Employees: Over 10,000

 
Success Brief: From 1993 - 1997, only three employees had carpal tunnel surgery. From 1998 – 2002, only one employee had surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome and two had diagnoses and non-surgical treatments. The report of claims for tendonitis has also decreased.
 

The Problem
 
Turner was experiencing a high incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), especially among "Type A" personalities who "don't like to take breaks" and work long hours, as often is required in the television industry.

The Solution
 
The company implemented a four-part ergonomics program to focus on: 
  • workstation analysis 
  • employee education and awareness 
  • medical treatment 
  • consulting with ergonomics equipment and furniture manufacturers 
A task force that includes employees, doctors, risk management professionals and members of interior services, legal and human resources departments supervises the work in these four areas. Potential risk is identified through workstation evaluations and periodic employee evaluations. Ergonomics training and education begins with new employee orientation that teaches warning signs and appropriate exercises. Existing employees receive training through Departmental meetings and/or one-on-one evaluation and assessment. The company also works closely with medical professionals to help diagnose and treat injuries.  

The Impact
 
The frequency of claims for tendonitis has decreased. The severity of CTS claims has decreased. Significant financial savings from reduced workers’ compensation costs have been realized from early treatment, standardizing furniture and educating employees. Employees are requesting and receiving assistance early on, which also helps morale.

 
Source: Cynthia Parks, Turner Broadcasting Systems (October 2002).
 
 
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