Construction often requires intense physical labor, and, despite efforts and intentions, is never without risk. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, construction injuries account for more than 20% of those reported across the entire private economy. Although the degree of injury varies widely, worker injuries are bad for workers and costly for business. The average medically consulted injury in 2019 cost $42,000 to resolve.
Construction firms that wish to stay competitive in this business over the long haul must work diligently and without pause to reduce the risk of injury, keeping employees and subcontractors healthy to the extent possible. Lankford Construction is such a company.
Founded in 1951 in Illinois, Lankford conducts work today in all fifty states of the U.S. Although the company offers myriad diverse services, the primarily business of the company resides now in renovating interior fixtures in large, established household brands, such as Amazon, Starbucks, Target, and CVS. Its workforce is almost exclusively comprised of union members.
“Emerge Diagnostics has been invaluable to us as a company,” says Judi Tipps, director of operations at Lankford. “My goal is to keep my workers and subcontractors happy and healthy on the job. When there’s an injury, we need to know, to the best of our ability, how and when did the injury occur. What sort of injury is it? Did it actually happen on the job and who can provide the best treatment for them?”
Soft-tissue injures have traditionally been challenging to assess. While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is effective in examining skeletal, organ systems, and bleeding; it becomes less valuable as a diagnostic in evaluating soft-tissue complaints. For example, is the muscular neck injury the result of work-related strain? Or did the injury predate the claim? What is the nature of the injury? Is it valid as a work-related claim?
“When someone is injured, I want them to get healthy quickly and get back to work and life.”
“Although we as a company do everything in our power to prevent injury,” says Tipps, “in our line of work, it’s an ongoing challenge. When someone is injured, I want them to get healthy quickly and get back to work and life.”
Lankford Construction finds Emerge Diagnostics’ Electrodiagnostic Functional Assessment (EFA) particularly effective in getting to the root of a worker’s injury. OSHA requires several criteria be met for a workman’s compensation claim to be required. Among these are death, loss of consciousness, treatment required beyond first aid, or as a result of a doctor or healthcare professional’s diagnosis. According to Tipps, many, if not most, soft-tissue claims don’t rise to meet these requirements.
“There’s a huge degree of subjectivity in assessing claims related to purported soft-tissue injuries,” she says. “Emerge’s EFA provides an objective finding for subjective claims.”
Now in its seventh decade in the construction business, Lankford continues to innovate and push ahead. “Healthy workers are at the heart of what we do,” says Tipps.
“Emerge’s EFA provides an objective finding for subjective claims.”
“The law requires that, following an injury, I restore any employee back to their previous state of health or compensate them for the injury if that’s not possible,” says Tipps. In some cases, she says, the path forward is obvious. In many cases, however, it is not—at least prior to partnering with Emerge and deploying their state-of-the-art technology across Lankford’s vast construction enterprise.
“It’s a partnership that has kept us in business by providing optimal care for our workers,” says Tipps.