Celebrating Safe + Sound Week

Celebrating Safe + Sound Week

How Certified Athletic Trainers are Changing Workplace Health and Keeping Employers and Employees at the top of Their Game

It is Safe + Sound Week, August 15 to 21, and we want to applaud our customers who are investing in the health and wellness of their workforces with occupational health initiatives. This annual nationwide event, organized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), recognizes successful workplace health and safety programs and encourages all organizations to learn more.


A win-win for employers and employees

Occupational health programs are designed to keep workforces healthy and businesses productive. Key offerings can include everything from injury assessment and care, screenings, physical exams and therapy to workers’ compensation management, employee wellness, ergonomic evaluations, and more.

“The benefit of having these resources is you see employees experience enhanced wellbeing in their jobs and employers experience increased productivity from their workforce and a reduction in healthcare costs,” says Matrix Chief Medical Officer, Ryan Heyborne, MD, MBA, FACEP.


Worksite health and safety go hand in hand

As companies continue to recognize the work environment can also affect their employees’ chronic health conditions, and their overall comfort and capabilities as a result, addressing workplace safety is becoming an increasingly important consideration.

“The workplace is starting to be viewed as a social determinant of health. We know that individuals with chronic conditions such as depression, obesity, or diabetes have the potential for higher incidences of job-related injuries, lower productivity, and longer recovery rates,” says Dr. Heyborne. “When employers help employees identify, treat, and implement on-the-job health and safety measures that support their conditions, it improves their quality of life and helps them feel healthier, which can lead to better job satisfaction and outcomes.”


The era of the Certified Athletic Trainer

Today, emphasis is being placed on introducing upstream injury prevention programs versus downstream where companies can face costly injury treatment and case management. And one approach growing in popularity is the use of a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC), who brings the mindset and methodologies used for years in sports medicine.

“An athlete with a torn hamstring wouldn’t perform at their best on the field, and the same applies for an employee in the workplace,” says Scott Zimprich, Vice President of Product Portfolio at Matrix. “Beginning to think of employees as ‘industrial athletes’ is changing the way organizations implement care in the workplace. These upstream care programs work to prevent injuries before they happen, keeping your industrial athletes safe and at the top of their game.” 

An ATC is a nationally-certified healthcare provider that specializes in injury prevention and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, more than 70 percent of athletic trainers hold at least a master’s degree, and athletic training students are educated to provide care in prevention, clinical evaluation and diagnosis, immediate and emergency care, treatment and rehabilitation, and organization and professional health and wellbeing1.

“Like an athletic trainer on the field, ATCs can be right on the warehouse floor building relationships and offering work readiness training, such as proper stretching and lifting techniques,” says Zimprich.

In one survey2, after engaging an onsite ATC, employers reported a 50 percent decrease in workplace injury costs, a 25 percent reduction in workers’ comp claims for MSDs, a 25 percent decrease in lost workdays, and a 100 percent favorable ROI for industrial companies. 


Matrix’s systematic and scientific approach

Matrix’s Injury Prevention Program is shifting the paradigm to reduce injury risk and maximize workplace performance with ATCs observing, coaching, and evaluating the root cause of MSDs on three levels – work design, worker, and workplace.

“When you conduct an ergonomic assessment of the job function, match it with the individual employee and their overall workplace environment and what they need to be successful, you are creating a health and wellness culture that better prepares employees for their jobs,” Dr. Heyborne says. “This method incites a level of employee engagement that encourages early reporting to get ahead of any health or safety issues, and by reducing work-related illness and injury, you’re improving the health of your workforce.”

In addition to injury prevention, Matrix serves organizations across the country by delivering comprehensive worksite health services and occupational health programs. To learn more about creating healthier workplaces during Safe + Sound Week, contact our team.



1 – National Athletic Trainers’ Association, https://www.nata.org/about/athletic-training/education-overview
2 – Hall, Craig. “Certified Athletic Trainers Deliver ROI in Occupational Work Settings.