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You’ve likely heard of physical therapy and occupational therapy. But what does industrial rehabilitation help with and how does it differ from other well-known forms of rehab?

Industrial rehab helps employees complete his or her job safely through:

  • Assessments
  • Therapy
  • Workplace adjustments

Industrial therapy includes the expertise of physical and occupational therapists.

You might have this type of rehab if:

  • You suffer an injury at work.
  • Have an accident or illness that affects your ability to work.

You may seek it out on your own, or your employer may offer this service.

Find out more about industrial rehab. Visit the website for UPMC Centers for Rehabilitation Services.

Industrial Rehabilitation Assessments for Workers

After an accident or major illness, you may need to figure out what work tasks you’re able to do. You might need this either to return to work or to find a new job.

An occupational therapist may do a functional capacity evaluation (FCE). It tells how well you can perform your job functions.

The FCE looks at your medical history and mimics common work activities, such as:

  • Crawling through small spaces
  • Climbing ladders
  • Lifting a certain amount of weight

Some employees may also benefit from an ergonomic assessment. This looks at your workstation, equipment, and the tools you use each day.

You may get feedback for:

  • Assistive devices
  • Certain types of desk chairs
  • Other workstation changes that improve posture and safety

Assessments and Services for Employers

Industrial rehab therapists do pre-employment physical skills tests to make sure your candidates can meet the job requirements.

These specialists also assess employees coming back to work after an injury or illness and:

  • Decide if the worker can perform job functions.
  • Offer guidance on changes that will allow the employee to return to work safely.
  • Provide job-site shadowing and coaching.

Industrial rehab also offers work safety training programs for businesses.

Therapists can provide group or one-on-one training in safely handling materials or proper posture and techniques to perform work-related tasks.