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|The Griffith Company, Santa Fe Springs, CA, noticed that a majority of its workers compensation costs stemmed from strains and sprains: In Griffith’s case, it was primarily back strains. With that in mind, the company enlisted the services of Wendy Richardson, a physical therapist with Back and Body Care based in San Francisco, about a year and a half ago. Since then, Richardson has helped Griffith implement a prework “stretch and flex” program that is showing impressive results. “ We began a stretch and flex program at a time when we were staffing up for a surge in new work ,” says James Waltze, president and CEO of the Griffith Co. and national AGC vice president. “ We anticipated some resistance, but just the opposite was true. It sent a clear message to our workers that we care about their well-being, and our worker compensation claims dropped dramatically last year.” The process began with Richardson spending a day taking photos on Griffith ’s jobsites and asking questions. The next step was getting all the foremen together for a day-long class about how the back works and conducting appropriate warm-ups before work. Although she
|has given two such classes now (spaced six months apart), Richardson doesn’t foresee that Griffith will require many (if any) more classes. “The idea of the program is that it’s self-administered,” she says. “It’s the train-the-trainer concept. Once the safety manager and foremen get it, it’s basically self-perpetuating.” All workers do the exercises together for five or ten minutes at the beginning of the day, but they are encouraged to repeat the exercises whenever they have down time as well as at home and over the weekend. “The most important thing is to have a safety manager who’s committed to the program,” Richardson says. “The Griffith Co. definitely has that in Carl Jones. They’re lucky.” FOR MORE INFORMATIONContact Carl Jones, safety director,
the Griffith Co.
Call: (562) 929-1128
Contact Wendy Richardson, physical therapist of Back and Body Care.
Call: (415) 626-3099
The text about our program is found on page 10.