Calling Organisations of All Sizes and Anyone Else Interested in Guarding a Company’s Most Valuable Asset – Its Employees!
Now that the new year is here, it’s the ideal moment to start looking for safety trends to adopt in 2023. Workplace safety has always been essential; however, the last few years have brought some new stressors and kinds of hazards, so it’s paramount to come up with new strategies to protect employees.
The term safety is easily tossed around in the present context because people have the tendency to associate it with the prevention of death-causing or complex injuries. However, workplace safety doesn’t refer solely to preventing extreme accidents but to adopting practices that promote good mental, physical and emotional health.
Organisations that show commitment to workplace safety and put their employees first have extensive benefits like increased productivity and retention.
This article discusses the safety trends expected to impact the sector in 2023.
Injuries Resulted from Irregular or Extended Working Hours, Worker Overuse, Rushing, or Fatigue
This might be surprising for many because the traditional factors triggering a workplace injury used to have more physical nature. Still, irregular or extended working hours and worker rushing, overuse or fatigue can also facilitate a storm of safety problems.
Companies are dealing with staffing challenges triggered by the rise of quiet quitting, increased turnover, or difficulty in retaining high performers. Therefore, they ask their staff to work long hours, irregular or extended shifts and rush them to complete their tasks, causing burnout and fatigue. The employees conditioned to work 8 hours shifts before are now expected to stay 12 hours at the job, which can cause musculoskeletal injuries or other chronic health issues.
The human body can withstand a limited amount of stress before it begins to break down. Employees who work beyond their normal level of conditioning for extensive periods are prone to health issues like neuropathy, tendinitis, and other similar muscle-related problems. Being fatigued on the job is also dangerous because it impacts the workers’ ability to be precise and focused.
How Can Organisations Prevent Their Workforce Getting Injured?
When increased output or extended working hours are necessary, companies should also consider getting Ehs app software to monitor the activities and ensure they don’t expose their employees to repetitive stress injuries. Besides using software to supervise activities, it’s also essential to remind employees to take care of their bodies.
Early symptom intervention and offering open lines of communication are also paramount in preventing workplace injuries. When symptoms are identified early, the likelihood of treating the health issue increases. Instead of dealing with chronic pain and loss of function, workers would only experience mild discomfort for a short period.
Mental health issues in the workplace
According to statistics, 1 in 6.8 people deals with a mental health disorder in the workplace. More and more adults report at least one symptom of stress related to their job, like anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, or suffering from headaches. Given the statistics, businesses must make mental health an integral part of their workplace safety and injury prevention programs.
The Most Common Health Issues People Experience in The Workplace Are:
– Anxiety is accompanied by symptoms like increased heart rate, sweating, worrisome thoughts, and feelings of tension.
– Depression is characterised by symptoms like losing interest in daily activities and feelings of hopelessness and sadness.
Factors that trigger mental health disorders in the workplace:
– Increased workloads
– A demanding work culture
How can companies improve their workforce’s mental health?
– Create healthy behaviour incentive programs
– Run mental health screenings
– Create social support networks
– Develop employee assistance programs
– Offer access to behavioural health accommodation specialists
– Survey their workforces and measure their workforce’ mental wellness score
– Create a quiet space where employees can take breaks
It’s crucial for companies to make mental health part of their Ehs programs to promote mental health awareness and provide those who experience such conditions with the necessary tools to overcome their challenges. Executives, managers, and team leaders must consciously destigmatise mental health issues in the workplace.
Home Office Ergonomics for The Remote Workforce
A survey reveals that 70% of full-time employees switched to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if the pandemic has ended, over 90% of the specialists expect to continue to work from home at least 1 or 2 days a week. While both employees and employers consider remote work a positive thing, it presents some problems as workers are ditching ergonomically friendly office spaces for kitchen islands and couches.
Those who neglect to create proper ergonomic setups at home could experience the same negative effects as if they’d work in an office lacking proper office furniture. Companies find monitoring their employees’ home offices challenging because each environment is different and poses unique risks to the user.
The employees lacking lumbar support can deal with issues like:
– Muscle tension in the shoulders and neck
– Chronic low back pain
– Neurological problems caused by tight hamstrings.
Suppose the employees use a laptop instead of a regular-sized computer in the long term; they can also deal with vision changes, carpal tunnel, or shoulder and neck pain due to their forward leaning position.
How to Support Remote Employees?
It’s crucial to provide guidelines for remote workers on how to boost their home office ergonomics. Below are some creative ways to improve a home office setup:
– Raise the laptop to eye level using books and reams of paper
– Use a block of wood or an old show box under the feet
– Use a rolled-up towel to increase the lumbar support
If the employees cannot adjust with some household items, the companies should provide them with a budget to purchase the necessary equipment to work in a comfortable space that enables them to prevent injuries.
The above workplace safety trends can help companies identify the safety risks in their work environments and enable them to start 2023 on the right foot.