8 Tips to Prevent Workplace Pain & Injury

When an employee gets hurt on the job, the whole company aches. From the human costs of the tragedy to possible lawsuits, employers are constantly on the lookout for novel methods to protect their staff. From identifying the risks involved in encouraging workers to report safety issues, here are 8 tips to prevent workplace pain and injury to the mutual benefit of workers and employees alike.

Theory and practice

It goes without saying that education and training are essential for a safe work environment. However, you need to strike a balance between instructional courses and organizing drills.

For instance, you can get the fire chief to hold a lecture on fire safety but without a drill, i.e. an evacuation of the building, their words will hold little value.

Always try to include a practical segment of every instructional course employees undergo. 

Identifying risky posts

Not every job comes with the same level of risk to the physical and mental health of the employees. If the HR department is able to correctly identify the most dangerous posts, they will be able to prevent injuries.

The most dangerous posts include the ones where workers handle heavy loads, work in hazardous environments, operate machines, drive heavy-duty vehicles, work at heights, etc.

Such and similar posts usually require special training and equipment that other posts, such that of a secretary or an account, don’t require.

You should take special notice of repetitive physical activities that put a lot of strain on a certain part of the body. Strenuous labor leaves its nasty mark after years of employment but these too are injuries and pain to look out for end actively seek to prevent. 

Screening employees before hiring them

Once you are able to identify the most common hazards, you can put preventive measures into place but only for those sectors and posts that truly need them. This way, employers get to save money, while at the same time ensuring that everyone is safe.

Another way to save money and boost workplace safety is to properly screen new hires. A thorough inspection of their past work record should reveal whether they’ve gone through safety training and their general level of fitness. Hiring a worker who hasn’t completed a single safety course means that you’ll spend more money on training him/her. 

What if an injury does occur?

The work-related injuries statistics are brutal, as there is no chance of preventing every type of injury from occurring. No matter how much you decrease the risk of injury, paper cuts, and chronic back pain are still going to affect your workforce.

Therefore, you should implement a work injury rehabilitation program, like Movement 101 and other physiotherapy clinics offer. Make sure that employees get custom-tailored exercise programs that will ensure the recovery process is painless and relatively quick. 

Building up strength

The rehabilitation process is going to be even easier if the worker affected is in great shape. For physically and mentally demanding jobs, such as that of a miner or an airline pilot, regular exercise is essential. Physical activity is an essential factor for mental health as well, so providing all employees with the opportunity to exercise is essential.

We say “opportunity,” as many workers won’t take up on the offer, which is perfectly fine. As an employer, it’s your duty to act to the maximum of your possibilities to prevent work-related accidents and not to enforce anything on anyone.

The threat of a lawsuit

One way to “persuade” workers to take active care of safety is to make them sign a waiver in case of an accident. This way, you get the best of both worlds, helping employees preserve their autonomy, all the while protecting your company from negligence lawsuits.

Excellent communication is essential for safety!

Kids and teenagers nowadays have several social media networks they visit every day but paradoxically, workers often have only one channel of communication. Just imagine what would happen on a construction site if the internal radio went dead.

For this reason, it’s essential that workers have several com channels at their disposal in case one means of communication fails. Even Facebook groups of Viber chat groups are suitable for sharing safety info, whether it’s the upcoming fire drill or the best place to get excellent noise-canceling headphones.

An open-policy vertical hierarchy

So far, we have only discussed the methods employers can use to help workers stay safe. However, sometimes it’s the workers themselves who know best which safety standards to apply.

In large companies with an intricate vertical hierarchy, blue-collar workers often have trouble getting their message across to senior managers.

That’s why seniority counts little when it comes to safety as all employees, from the janitor to the CEO, have to work together to prevent injuries. Introduce a system in which contacting safety offices will be as easy as sending an e-mail.

Preventing workplace injuries and chronic pain is always better (and cheaper) than ignoring safety issues. With the help of the 8 tips listed above, you are bound to create a safe working environment.