One Less Thing on Your “To-Do” List Next Year

Happy New Year!

What is your resolution? Possibly to be more profitable or to cut overhead costs? It certainly wasn’t to have an injured employee sitting at home, right?

The most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight and to get back on the right track. The holidays make a lot of us very conscious of our personal and professional year end goals, and being more productive and healthier should be on everyone’s list.

With the injured employee on your “fix in the new year” list, the major goal is to be fully functioning and that means rehabilitation. The simple discouraging facts of being an injured employee at home and trying to conquer therapy exercises are feeling that you look funny while doing them, the exercises are boring, or even the “I don’t have the time” or “I’m frustrated because I can’t do what I used to” excuses. These excuses may seem silly on paper, but which category do your employees fit into?

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Could Your Employee Workstations Use an Upgrade?

Warehouse employees are subjected to a great deal of repetitive stresses on the body and as a result, musculoskeletal disorders are their most common forms of injuries. One way to significantly decrease the number of musculoskeletal injuries sustained while on the job is to make their work stations more ergonomically sound.

Ergonomics is the science behind why things are designed the way that they are. Handheld tools, for example, may have ergonomic handles on them that decrease or disperse the force that is applied to the hand. Also, workstations can be designed in a way to maximize productivity while reducing employee fatigue and risk of sustaining an injury.

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Does Your Business Practice Ergonomic Principles?

Most of us have heard the term “ergonomics” at one point in our work environment. The question is do we really know what it means? The dictionary defines ergonomics as “the applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.” That seems a little too scientific to me. Ergonomics should be simple!

Evaluating your workplace for safety, and making sure your employees have the tools needed to do their job, is where you need to start. Back pain is a common injury or complaint in the workplace and often times it can be caused by simple work activities. Applying ergonomic principles can help prevent injuries in your workplace.

Most of us think of ergonomics applies only to physically demanding jobs, but what is often overlooked is the office environment. People who sit most of the day, such as those who work behind a computer, need to be concerned with ergonomics as well. Having a well planned office and computer ergonomic system can help reduce the risk of repetitive injury.

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Health and Wellness Rooms: A New Year’s Resolution to Keep Injured Employees Productive

As the year comes to a close, many people are thinking about their New Year’s resolutions. Businesses should be no different. It is time to evaluate your company’s plan for your injured workers. Make a resolution to give your injured workers a place to recover from their injury. Help them return to work and cut time loss and extra expenses from a worker’s comp claim.

Health and Wellness Rooms are a perfect fit for many companies looking to reduce their premiums and save money, especially when looking at your end of the year bottom line. Get your business out of the red and back into the black. Putting a Health and Wellness Room in your IIPP (Injury and Illness Protection Program) can help you save thousands of dollars and reduce your Insurance E-Mod rating.

Health and Wellness Rooms can provide your injured employee with knowledge and understanding of their injuries. It is a great place to track your employee’s progress during their recovery.  “Out of sight, out of mind” is a very relevant phrase when it comes to work comp claims. If you’re not monitoring their progress, or whether or not they are even following the plan given to them by their doctor, their injury can cost your business several thousand dollars.

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Prevent a Holiday Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) from Occurring

The holidays are here and stress and fatigue are on the rise. Being at work, coming home to write holiday cards, and then sending them out can really tire out those hands of yours. Have you noticed that the repetitive movement has caused pain that you may “work through” just to get the job done?

Repetitive Strain Injuries are real and many working individuals experience them without putting a name to it. The most common symptom of RSI is a feeling of general fatigue, but when your strongest workers go on and ignore these symptoms you may end up with long term and seriously debilitated employees.

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Decorating the Workplace – Keep Safety in Mind!

Decorating the workplace is always a great way to boost spirits during the holidays. But, it is important to be aware of potential hazards. The same principles that go into decorating your home in a safe manner should apply to your workplace.

Make sure you are checking for fire hazards when selecting your decorations. Be careful not to punch your staples through the cords on lights and extension cords, and know how many strands of lights can go together. If using decorations outdoors, check to see if they are rated for outdoor use. Putting your lighted decorations on timers is a great way to protect the office.

Checking your fire safety equipment is a practice that is often overlooked during the holiday decorating festivities. Make sure your smoke detectors are working. Have your fire extinguisher inspected and serviced if needed. When deciding on which decorations to use make sure they will not compromise your exits and or sprinkler system.

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Injury Recovery is Golden for Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are still at work, and a larger and older workforce means complete rehabilitation is very important. We all know that due to aging our wounds and injuries don’t heal the way they used to. Keeping that in mind, a Health and Wellness Room is exactly what you need. We provide the environment for your employees to heal properly with education and instruction on a proper recovery, all the while being monitored by staff that has a background in injury care and proper ergonomics.

Nobody likes to be in pain, and no employer wants an injured worker, but when accidents happen or repetitive motion injuries finally catch up, it good to know that your employees are on the road to recovery. Having rooms that provide equipment to strengthen, to educate, and to keep an employee on the right track is being proactive. And, it is so important for older employees to keep active, both mind and body, during recuperation.

We say it over and over that prevention is key, but education is just as vital. With a growing number of workers approaching retirement, it is essential that we prevent further long term injury.  The availability of onsite instruction, and even onsite injury prevention inspection, enables us to help you retire your prized workers into longer and more active golden years.

Reduce Employee Stress During the Holidays

It is a pretty well known fact that the time period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can be crazy and hectic, especially in this time of a failing economy. People are often not thinking about work and their surroundings as they normally do. Many are thinking of the holidays to come and what to do. There could even be some that show up to work in an altered state due to drugs or alcohol because of all the holiday parties and/or the stress that the holidays bring.

During the holidays, more accidents and mishaps seem to occur. We are all anxious to have fun over the holidays and sometimes that takes our minds off our work. Also, there tends to be more ‘accidents’ during this time for people who want to have time off during the holidays while still being paid. Injured employees add to the stress of a company trying to function during the holidays. Deadlines need to be met, money needs to be saved, and maintaining a full staff may be hard during the holidays.

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A Stressed Employee Can Be An Expensive Employee

Studies show that Americans today are more stressed than ever. Experiencing and coping with high levels of stress for an extended period of time can factor into many different negative health-related outcomes such as; depression, anxiety, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and increased risk of injury.

High levels of stress are also related to workplace violence and absenteeism. The United States has the highest violent crime rate of any industrialized nation with 18,000 non-fatal violent crimes and 20 people murdered while on the job every week. The number of employees calling in sick because of stress increases every year and in very large companies, this could add up to costs of millions of dollars annually.

Stress also differs between men and women. Studies have shown that women reported a higher level of overall job stress than men. Stress had the highest level of association with migraines and psychological distress in men and with work-related injuries in women. Also, blue-collar workers experienced the highest amount of stress induced work injuries.

You may be asking how you can protect your employees from the dangers associated with stress. A few examples of things that employers can do to help reduce the stress levels of their employees are:

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Economy Down…Workers’ Compensation Claims Down…Time to Catch Up

A large staffing firm has watched workers’ compensation claims plummet in lock-step with the stock market. Has your claim frequency decreased? Maybe the decrease in claims has occurred because production has slowed. Or, maybe folks with minor strains are afraid to rock the boat by filing a claim. This particular staffing firm has seen a much greater decrease in the number of minor claims, which might support the latter hypothesis.

Whatever the cause, employers have a good opportunity to review their safety programs. Instead of running down information for a claim adjuster, we can add value by making sure the programs are up-to-date with current regulations and current operations.

Safety programs are more than binders. They must be living documents that continuously support production activities in a proactive organization.

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