Is a Video JA worth the extra money?

16 11 2009

A Video Job Analysis usually costs anywhere from $200-$400 more than a traditional JA.  But it can pay for itself almost immediately.  Think about it.  Most JA’s are requested in order to educate “somebody” about a worker’s job duties.  That “somebody” could be a doctor, attorney, insurance carrier, or even a jury.  While an expert job analyst can do an excellent job of describing an occupation using the written word, there is sometimes no substitute for video.

Let me give you an example.  Not long ago, I was asked to video tape the job duties of a truck driver in the oil fields of Central California.  The worker had conveyed to the doctor that driving a truck through the oil fields required continuous turning of the neck in order to avoid debris, navigate around obstacles, etc.  ON PAPER, it made sense that the worker would turn and twist his neck quite often.  However, the video showed that the worker spent far more time looking forward than he ever did looking to the side. And 5 minutes of video tape showed the doctor the precise physical motions in a way that I would have had great difficulty describing in a written Job Analysis.

Pouring Molten Metal

A picture paints a thousand words...but what about video?

How does this pay for the additional cost of getting and editing video?  Easy.  A highly accurate depiction of a worker’s duties eliminates a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to work duties.  And it is hard for a worker or supervisor to watch video of a job being done and to then argue against it.  While video has its limitations,

the clarity it gives a viewer is extremely valuable, and such clarity helps reduce or eliminate delays.  I have seen several occasions where traditional Job Analyses were completed only to have one party or the other dispute the exact same document they helped prepare (and even sign!).  This causes delays while the parties fight, sometimes even requiring intervention by a judge to resolve.  Any delay costs money, both in disability payments being made and in administrative and legal costs.  A Video Job Analysis helps eliminate many delays and disputes.

The small additional cost to add video to a JA pays off in spades!  What does it cost to wait for 4 weeks while parties argue about job duties?  How much will you pay in legal fees, disability benefits, admin costs during this time?  In California, where the maximum weekly worker’s comp payment is over $900, just a two week delay to seek clarification of a job could cost nearly $2000. And how many times do delays take much longer than this?  A video JA helps avoid such delays.

The sooner a doctor, carrier, attorney, or jury accurately understands a worker’s duties, the sooner they can make a proper determination about benefit eligibility, return-to-work, compensation, and causation.  And early, accurate determinations save huge amounts of money.

Until next time….

Everett

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