Years ago, many workers held jobs in the manufacturing field that required them to stand for their entire workday. Now, workers find themselves sitting behind desks for seven or more hours each day, which has led to an unhealthy side effect — a more obese workforce. Fortunately, employers are starting to embrace the benefits of keeping employees active at work.
If you’re looking for Brian Kost on any given weekend, peek inside his kitchen window. He’s most likely perfecting a tasty Italian dish for his grandchildren to taste test. Or, he’s putting in a roll of film and taking nature shots.
A recipe rock star and amateur photographer by night, Brian is the Workplace Possibilities program manager by day. He’s been with The Standard since 2007 and was instrumental in creating the program that exists today. As part of the Workplace Possibilities team, Brian continues to identify future enhancements for the program. In his day to day duties, he implements and coordinates several on-site programs that allow employees to get back to work more quickly and maintain productivity. He also develops and maintains the metrics that monitor companies’ successful Workplace Possibilities programs.
Brian has more than 30 years experience in vocational rehabilitation services and holds a master’s degree in career and guidance counseling. He also is a certified rehabilitation counselor and certified ergonomist.
Posts by Brian Kost
As you probably know all too well, short- or long-term disability leaves and unplanned sick days add up, and many businesses are feeling an impact on their bottom line. Public sector employers are not immune to the cost of lost productivity, and on the heels of my colleague’s presentation about Employer Productivity in the Public Sector at the State and Local Government Benefits Association (SALGBA) National Conference, I want to focus on one local government that is taking action and seeing results.
A return-to-work program is a wonderful tool to help change the way you manage disability. Such programs create a work environment that breeds productivity and removes some of the burden of disability management. You also need the measurable results — the bottom line. What is the real ROI of RTW?
Did you know teachers have a high incidence of voice problems? A study found that while teachers constitute only 2 percent of the working population, they make up 16 percent of hospital voice clinic populations diagnosed with a voice disorder.  In fact, 20 percent of the teacher population analyzed in the study reported missing work as a result of a voice problem. 
As an on-site disability consultant, I’ve worked with a number of teachers and in the last five years I’ve seen an increase in voice-related disabilities. The good news is there is a tool out there that can help teachers deal with this problem. It’s just that many people don’t know it exists.
Finding seating solutions that allow obese employees to sit comfortably in their desk chairs has been a challenge for years. And with a steady increase in the number of overweight workers, companies can no longer overlook these pertinent needs.
As recently as 10 years ago, most chair manufacturers did not offer products for people who weighed more than 300 pounds. Not only were there no chairs that fit these individuals, but rarely did the chairs hold up to the constant weight.
Today, office equipment, such as chairs, that is designed to suit larger people is in demand. And as an employer, you must ensure you are providing a safe, comfortable chair for your employees. This has created an opportunity for chair manufacturers to succeed in a thriving marketplace.
When looking at chair options, it’s important to focus on two key factors:
Did you know that 28 percent of workplace injuries and illnesses are repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or back pain, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now a mandate change from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may be in the works to change the way companies officially log those types of injuries.