Managing the Health and Productivity Connection: The Politics of Incapacity

Kenneth Mitchell

Lost time and healthcare costs are connected. Yet, employers often choose one or the other to pay attention to. This competition between eroding health and functional limitations and corporate lost time management policies often disables workers beyond expected incidence and duration. This presentation will focus on the various corporate policies, practices and management belief systems that influence both lost time and healthcare costs. Special attention will be paid to the older worker as well as identifying corporate policies and practices that serve as barriers to injury prevention, stay at work, as well as return to work initiatives. Lost time predictors will be presented coupled with solutions that enhance the application of ergonomic and transitional work solutions. A web based lost time management tool will be presented. Corporate case studies will be offered highlighting changes in corporate policies and practices along with the return on investment that has been measured.

Presentation Slides:
Slides 1-14
Slides 15-26

Kenneth Mitchell received his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University and served for seven years (1975 -1982) as an assistant and tenured associate professor in the School of Medicine, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Dr. Mitchell currently serves as a visiting faculty to the University of North Carolina, Duke University Occupational Health Education and Resource Center, as well as the University of Tennessee - Chattanooga Exercise Science program . Dr. Mitchell has served as the Director of Rehabilitation for the Ohio Industrial Commission and as the Executive Director of the International Center for Industry, Labor and Rehabilitation, a private non-profit research and education group based in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Mitchell has been an International Visiting Fellow for the World Rehabilitation Fund, completing a critical analysis of the Accident Compensation Commission of New Zealand, as well as a consultant to the Worker’s Compensation and Rehabilitation Commission of Western Australia. Dr. Mitchell currently serves as Vice President, Corporate RTW Development Programs for UnumProvident Corporation, Chattanooga, TN. In this role, he provides lost time management program development services to large multidivisional employers.

Presentation from the 'Workplace Accommodations: State of the Science' conference, September 15-16, 2005, Atlanta, GA