Ergonomic Initiative Grant

Program Overview

North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance (WSI) has seen a steady number of ergonomic related injuries each year and is now focusing on preventative measures, rather than post-injury, to assist employers in controlling these costs. Cumulative trauma injuries (including strains) have accounted for approximately 35% of all reported claims in North Dakota over the past 5 years.

Purpose

The purpose of the Ergonomic Initiative is to reduce or eliminate cumulative-type injuries at the workplace. What typically begins as minor aches or pains, if ignored, has potential to develop into costly claims. Through the Ergonomic Initiative Program, WSI will be offering the employers of North Dakota resources, as well as financial assistance, to address their ergonomic issues.

Ergonomic Initiative and Ergonomic Grant Step-by-Step Process

  • Submit a complete Ergonomic Initiative Employer Application
  • If approved, you will receive email notification of approval. You will also be given a list of area providers to work with throughout the program.
  • Employer selects a provider
  • After the final assessment from the provider has been completed, the employer is now eligible for the Ergonomic Grant Funding Application - Phase II .
  • If equipment has been recommended through the initiative process, the employer completes the Ergonomic Grant Funding Application - Phase II requesting these recommendations.
  • If grant application is approved, and after agreements have been signed by WSI and the employer, then the employer may order/purchase equipment.
  • After the equipment has arrived and payment has been made, the employer submits a Reimbursement request.

Three Main Components

Provider Network

WSI has developed a network of providers throughout North Dakota. This network is comprised of experienced healthcare professionals, primarily occupational and physical therapists, well versed in the field of ergonomics. These providers are located throughout the state.

Provider Network Information

Provider Regional Map

Provider Contact Information

Region 1
Region 2
Region 3
Region 4
Region 5
Region 6
Region 7
Region 8

WSI will analyze claims trends (types of injuries, as well as frequency & severity) to determine if the injuries are linked to ergonomic issues. Another factor for consideration is the employee’s level of exposure to potential injuries. Upon WSI approval, the employer will select one of providers listed in the established network.

Financial Assistance for Provider Services

Fees charged by vendors under this program are paid by WSI at a 3:1 ratio, meaning WSI pays for 75% of the project cost and the employer is responsible for the remaining 25%. The amount of work and type of services performed will vary with each employer, depending on their needs. Some of the factors that will be considered will be the number of employees, number of job classifications, type of work being performed, and claims history (frequency and severity). 
On-site services may include:

  • on-site ergonomic assessments in which potential or existing problems will be identified
  • ergonomic recommendations and interventions
  • assistance with the selection of appropriate ergo equipment
  • employer and employee ergo training

A key component of this program is on-site training for employers and employees. By providing the basic tools necessary to conduct ergonomic assessments; they will be able to address some of these issues early on, before they become claims.

Financial Assistance for Ergonomic Equipment Purchases

As part of the Ergonomic Initiative, a Grant Program is available for those employers who have participated in this program. If the assessments conducted during the ergo initiative warrant ergonomic equipment purchases, employers may be eligible for assistance with these purchases through the ergonomic initiative grant program.

Questions regarding the Ergonomic Initiative Grant Program may be directed to:

Randy Wegge
WSI Loss Control Ergonomic Coordinator 
Telephone: 701-328-6006 
Toll Free: 800-777-5033 
Fax: 701-328-6028
Email: rwegge@nd.gov

Elizabeth Johnson
WSI Loss Control Grant Program Specialist
Telephone: 701-328-3868
Toll Free: 800-777-5033
Fax: 701-328-6028
Email: eljohnson@nd.gov