Here’s the bad news:
- The National Safety Council reports that nearly 13,000 American workers suffer an injury every day, and each is preventable.
- Over 4400 deaths from work-related injuries occur in the US.
- Over 4.6 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illness occur annually.
- The annual cost of these injuries, illnesses, and fatalities is $250,000,000,000.
(Source: National Safety Council. “Work Safety Introduction.” Injury Facts, 20 Jan. 2021, injuryfacts.nsc.org/work/work-overview/work-safety-introduction/.)
Here’s the good news:
Injury prevention coaching can help reduce these alarming statistics by contributing to a safer workplace and a healthier workforce.
There are three main components of injury prevention coaching services: wellness; body mechanics; and mindfulness. These services can all be offered in person, virtually, and/or via the Healthy Ways digital platform.
Wellness services help employees optimize their personal health by reducing risky behaviors. These may include Nutrition services from a Registered Dietician and tobacco cessation support, both of which contribute significantly to individual health. It is a well-established fact that healthier, fitter employees are safer and less likely to suffer illness and injury.
Body mechanics is another key facet of injury prevention. Qualified coaches instruct employees on proper movement techniques so that workers avoid injury when lifting, bending, pushing or sitting. Coaches can also provide guidance setting up ergonomically sound workspaces so employees avoid injuries, stiffness, and pain.
In addition, mindfulness is an important element of a comprehensive injury prevention program. This practice teaches employees to recognize weakness, tightness, or other risky twinges in the body, which, in turn, enables the coach to demonstrate how to address the symptom through stretching, repositioning, changing posture or motion. By proactively monitoring and treating these issues, employees can prevent minor tweaks from becoming major problems.
Finally, employers must assess their workplaces and ensure that the space is set up with optimal safety in mind. The factors that should be evaluated include proper lighting, hygiene protocols, guardrails, unobstructed walkways and stairs, well-maintained equipment, updated training and safety procedures, and clean, dry floor surfaces to avoid slipping.