HOW TO HANDLE ON-THE-JOB INJURIES AND MINIMIZE HEALTH RISKS

by: Dr. Andrew J. Rochman

Work related injuries take a toll on the employees as well as the company. With reduced productivity and health insurance payments, the company can suffer heavy financial setbacks. This is why most companies have realized the importance of increasing awareness when it comes to the workplace. Injuries at the workplace are more common than ever. Although manual handling is the most common cause of workplace injuries, sedentary jobs may also put employees at risk of Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) and lung issues.

Awareness
When it comes to sedentary jobs, posture and height may be doing most of the damage. Educate employees of the best posture and height of their chair in order to minimize the strain and reduce chances of an injury (Cornelio, 2010).

Policy Creation
The very first thing that employers need to do is create a health and safety policy. This policy should be included and presented to employees along with all other contracts and policies in the workplace. This will let your employees know that safety and health are a primary objective.

Health and Safety Program
The health and safety of employees is the responsibility of the employer. A health and safety program is mandatory for any company employing more than 20 individuals (CDC, n.d.)

Control Hazards
Many hazards may be unavoidable depending on the nature of work and the product being created. Some occupations entail more risks than others. If an employee is putting themselves at risk, then it is the employer’s responsibility to identify all hazards and minimize the risks.

Safety Equipment
Safety equipment may be very little and very large. In sedentary jobs, employers need to worry about the provision of ergonomic chairs and keyboards whereas in manufacturing industries they need to worry about safety helmets, jackets, and other similar equipment.

Document Incidents
Accident history may help identify the problems that caused injuries in the workplace. Small details such as correctly fitting equipment may be the cause of an accident. Once the causes of injury are identified, employers can work towards their rectification (WCB, n.d.)

Training Sessions
Train employees and increase awareness about practices which may help minimize workplace injury. Motivate them to keep safety a personal priority, and encourage them to be on a lookout for safety hazards in the company.

Report Procedure
While avoiding injuries would be ideal, we are not living in a perfect world. Notify employees of the protocol that needs to be followed in case of an injury. Who will the employee report to? Is there an in-house clinic that they have access to? How will the severity of damage be assessed? (WSIB, 2014)

Maintaining a safe and healthy workplace is the responsibility of the employer. Safety should be the primary goal of the company and is not only beneficial for employees but also employers. Once employees are aware of the hazards that they face and the measures that can be taken to prevent them, they can work towards its minimization. This would mean less days of work as a result of injury and increased employee productivity.

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References
CDC, n.d. Benefits of Health Promotion Programs. Retrieved from
<http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/businesscase/benefits/ >
Cornelio, D., 2010. Preventing Workplace Injuries And Illnesses. Worker Occupational Safety & Health Training and Education Program (WOSHTEP). California, USA. Retrieved from <http://www.dir.ca.gov/chswc/WOSHTEP/Awareness/AwarenessModuleEnglish.pdf>
WCB, n.d. Preventing Workplace Injuries. Retrieved from <http://www.wcb.ns.ca/wcbns/index_e.aspx?CategoryID=274>
WSIB, 2014. What workers should know...about reporting workplace injuries and illnesses. Retrieved from <http://www.wsib.on.ca/en/community...>

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