What is Work Hardening?
A highly structured goal-oriented, individualized treatment program designed to return a person to job specific goal.
This rehabilitation program is designed to restore functional and work capacities to the injured worker through application of graded work simulation. Included are activities designed to improve overall physical condition, including strength, endurance, and coordination specific to work activity. Central to all work hardening programs is the reproduction of a work-like environment where tasks are designed to improve the patient’s tolerance for productive work.
How does Work Hardening work?
Interdisciplinary in nature (combination of physical and occupational therapy), use real or simulated work activities designed to restore physical, behavioral and vocational functions.
What are the benefits of Work Hardening?
Addresses the issues of productivity, safety, physical tolerances and worker behaviors (APTA and WA L&I).
The goal of work hardening is to achieve an acceptable level of productivity for returning to one’s former occupation or for meeting the demands of a specific new type of work. Therefore, worker behaviors and not just physical conditioning are addressed. These include having structured work times and duties, dressing appropriately for one’s tasks, and conducting oneself in a worker-like manner. It is important to differentiate work hardening from work conditioning.