Protect Your Workplace in Honor of National Safety Month
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,764 occupational fatalities and 2.7 million work-related injuries occurred in 2020 alone. These findings emphasize how important it is to continually take steps to ensure your workplace is safe for all.
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate. They focus on eliminating the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths. Here are the four topics they have chosen to focus on for the 2022 Safety Month.
- Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Workplace Impairment
- Injury Prevention
- Slips, Trips and Falls
To learn more about the National Safety Council, click here.
Have you ever been walking and just twisted your ankle? Sprains and strains are the leading cause of workplace injury. Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are pervasive and can be very complex. Common conditions can include, but are not limited to, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, ruptured or herniated discs and sprains. They can affect anyone at any age and result from all kinds of workplace tasks. Furthermore, it is very common for someone in the workplace to accidentally sprain or strain a muscle while at work. These injuries cost companies millions per year in workers’ compensation claims and lost productivity.
By investing in workplace safety, employers can improve their bottom line, strengthen retention, reduce absenteeism and improve the worker’s job site life and beyond. To create a solution, the National Safety Council has created the MSD pledge to encourage organizations to protect their most valuable assets, their employees. By taking this pledge, organizations become part of a community of employers committed to enhancing their employees’ well-being and strengthening their safety culture within the workplace itself. To sign the pledge, click here.
Work to Zero is the idea of making workplace deaths a thing of the past. Since 1913, the National Safety Council has used data, expertise and innovation to solve workplace safety problems. The Work to Zero Approach includes new research and technology, proper education and new partnerships to create success.
Workplace Impairment focuses on employee fatigue, stress and substance abuse, contributing to workplace impairment injury.
Being fatigued is being more than just tired. Most Americans do not even realize the importance of sleep. More than 43% of workers are sleep-deprived. When an employee is tired, their performance often decreases, their production costs vary between $1,200 to $3,100 per employee annually, and employees become more vulnerable because they cannot adapt to their “body clocks” to an alternative sleep pattern. Almost 62% of night-shift workers complain about suffering from sleep loss, and those who travel are three times more likely to be in a car crash if they have sleep loss. Losing two hours of sleep has a similar effect to having three beers, and being awake for over 20 hours is equivalent to being legally drunk. Overall, sleep is a vital factor in an employee’s overall health.
Drug use within the workplace is also part of workplace impairment. Addiction is an issue within every U.S workforce. Making sure you recognize the impact of drug misuse and are fully educated on the effects of these substances can make a difference in addiction and awareness. Furthermore, if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, below are resources to help you.
To prevent injury within the workplace, injury prevention should always be a topic of discussion among all employees. Identifying work hazards can limit the number of risks, which in turn can limit the amount of injury. To make sure your employees are aware of all the different kinds of common workplace hazards, here is a resource for you to share: Workplace Safety – National Safety Council (nsc.org)
Slips, Trips and Falls
It may come as a surprise that the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death is falling. In twenty-twenty, 42,114 people died in falls at home and at work. For working adults, depending on the industry, falls can be the leading cause of death.
Falls are 100% preventable. Whether from a ladder, roof or scaffolding, it’s important to plan, assess the risk and use the right equipment.
More than 6.8 million people were treated in emergency for fall-related injuries in 2019. At home, you also need to take precautions. For example, if you take on a home improvement or other weekend projects, it is essential for you to prepare yourself and make sure to take the correct precautions beforehand, even if it is in the comfort of your own home.
For more information on workplace safety, click here.