Ingalls program helps injured workers get back on the job

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - In an effort to lower the cost of worker's compensation at Huntington Ingalls Industries, the company sends its hurt workers who require physical therapy to work with a physical therapist.

"We focused in on bringing the employees back to work. You know, we're not in the shipyard but we're right next to it on Singing River Island," Manager of Program Integration David Hill says.

What started off as a way to cut costs at the Ingalls shipyard, turned into a worker's compensation initiative to help injured workers get back to work while at work.

Work Ready Program Director Aaron Pettis says they were able to do that by using the company's accessible gym for physical trainers to work with employees that have been hurt on the job.

"It's Huntington Ingalls providing a state of the art and proactive program for its workers. The main goal is to help these folks rehabilitate as quickly as possible, and get them back to productive jobs, productive careers again," Pettis says.

The objective is simple; taking care of the employees. Having programs, like this training simulation, is the key to getting those industrial athletes back on the job quickly.

Martin Maples was hurt on the job, and it's his second day of rehab training. He says the special training will allow him to return to work and stay on top of his job.

"When you've been out for a little while, you start losing some of your muscle tone, so it gets more in sync with what we do on the job so that we can perform like we should when we get back to it," Maples said.

Maples said he is grateful to work for a company that appreciates its hardworking employees.

"I sure do appreciate the company doing this for us. It makes me feel very good. It makes me happy that the company's investing the money and time in us," Maples said.

If employees claim to be hurt on the job and physical therapy is needed, Ingalls requires the employee to come to the island to be treated. So far, the program has been successful in returning a significant number of workers back to the work force.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.