Avera Sacred Heart in Yankton offers a program called HealthWorks services for area businesses and their employees to help prevent injuries in the workplace. Nancy Naeve Brown visited the Baldwin Filters Plant in Yankton to see why their 2 year partnership with HealthWorks has worked so well.
If you drive a semi or something with a heavy duty diesel engine, chances are also using a filter made at this Yankton plant. Quality is the driving force behind the Baldwin Filters' manufacturing process, but to have a quality product they have to have a quality workforce. That's why the CEO signed on 2 years ago to have Avera Sacred Heart HealthWorks services pre-screen all prospective employees.
Monte Gulick CEO Baldwin Filters says, "We started to see a higher rate of repetitive motion type injuries. We were hiring people that maybe weren't very well suited for the type of work that we do."
The first thing the Avera Sacred Heart HealthWorks team did is to go through the entire plant to see first hand all the components of each job, the environment it's in (heat, light, flooring, etc.) and any extra stress it may pose to the body.
Physical Therapist Dan Hunhoff with Avera Sacred Heart says, "We developed a pre-screen evaluation for new employees to take all the critical tasks to make sure prospective employees are physically able to do the tasks."
Hunhoff says the few that didn't pass the screening, and there were only a few, was because their heart rate or blood pressure got extremely high during some of the physical activity.
Hunhoff says, "Another benefit is as we are doing the evaluations we measure muscle strength and flexibility and if someone gets hurt on the job we know what kind of shape they were in or what they could do before."
Monte Gulick says, "It's a wonderful partnership."
Just like the product Baldwin Manufactures, Avera Sacred Heart HealthWorks is helping to filter its future workforce to ensure everyone's safety.
Baldwin Filters in Yankton employs 165 people and the CEO says since they've partnered with Avera Sacred Heart they've seen less workmen's comp claims.