In 2015, the costs associated with workplace illnesses and injuries went through the roof with a total of $60 billion. Not to mention, the top ten workplace injuries made up around $51.4 billion in total.
Out of all known illnesses and injuries, overexertion at industrial sites was at the top of the typical workplace injury/illnesses list. It usually includes throwing, carrying, holding, pulling, pushing, and lifting heavy objects.
It cost construction companies around $14 billion in injuries alone; workplace falls are not far behind, with costs reaching up to $11.2 billion.
If you’re a construction worker, you must stop and think about whether your employer prioritizes worker safety or if it skis out on safety protocols and procedures. There is no doubt that employee safety is critical at the workplace, which leads to healthier, more productive employees and ensures that work is completed on time and efficiently.
With that in mind, let us look at a few ways of managing the effects of an unsafe working environment.
Promote a culture of safety
Companies that promote and commit to addressing workplace hazards are better equipped to maintain and manage employee safety. After all, promoting a culture of safety within the workplace will prevent illnesses and injuries, increase employee morale, improve productivity, and reduce costs.
For instance, if you’re working at an organization that handles asbestos, ensure that your employer knows about the health and safety concerns associated with this mineral. Furthermore, talk to them and ask them to provide you with the necessary personal protective equipment to avoid inhalation of asbestos fibers.
God forbid, if you’ve recently received a mesothelioma diagnosis because your employer failed to inform you of asbestos in the workplace, you can file a negligence lawsuit. Without wasting time, consult an experienced mesothelioma attorney to determine whether you are eligible for a claim.
Maintain a good posture while you work
Ensure that your shoulders line up with your hips to prevent long-term back issues, primarily if you work a desk job. On the other hand, to avoid damaging your back when lifting things, use the correct form and posture.
Lastly, use furniture with excellent ergonomics, so you don’t have to overextend yourself to reach items or while you’re working.
Operate machinery and tools properly
Never, and we mean, never take shortcuts when operating heavy machinery or using heavy tools. Instead, take the proper precautions to avoid unwanted injuries. After all, one of the leading causes of workplace injuries is when employees take shortcuts while performing their duties.
Furthermore, avoid using tools and machinery that aren’t authorized or designed for a particular job. In the end, always remember that your chances of remaining injury-free at the workplace increase when you use the correct tools for a specific job.
Take regular breaks
Taking regular breaks and stretching out your muscles is an easy way to remain injury-free and work at your maximum capacity. For example, during your lunch break, take out a couple of minutes to perform some stretching exercising instead of sitting idle.
Doing so will allow you to loosen your joint and ease muscle tension, decreasing the likelihood of repetitive motion injuries in the process. Furthermore, don’t stay in one place as you stretch, as active movement during stretching is known to be more effective than passive stretching.
Follow your organization’s safety protocols
Workplace safety starts when you set foot at your workplace, which means following the protocols established by your organization from day one. After all, a safe workplace is where employees go above and beyond to follow safety measures while performing their duties according to established procedures.
Most employers will also collaborate with physical therapists to assess the physical demand of various roles. After doing so, they will incorporate findings to implement post-offer pre-placement functional testing and develop functional job analyses to ensure employees remain as safe as possible.
Participate in workplace safety meetings
It will be worthwhile to be over-prepared for a safety concern both as an employee and a business owner. So, consider regularly participating in health and safety meetings held at your workplace to discuss safety protocols and review prevention strategies.
Doing so will ensure that your safety remains at the top of your mind, and when something happens, you’re well-equipped to do the right thing.
Follow signs and labels
While keeping your workspace clean will undoubtedly reduce the risk of injury, following signs and labels set by your employer will add more value to your safety efforts. That said, ensure that signage and titles are as clear as day.
But, if they aren’t, talk with your employer and ask them to replace broken or unclear signage. Always keep a safety data sheet handy and consult it whenever required, especially for hazardous materials or equipment.
As an employee, it is your responsibility to keep yourself safe and protected from various workplace hazards. While some illnesses and injuries might be unavoidable, you can reduce the chances of workplace injuries by following the tips mentioned in this article.