Preventing Hazards in the Workplace
The first step to understanding how to prevent workplace injuries is to know why they often occur.
- Shortcuts – Getting the job done as quickly as possible is often the cause of many workplace accidents.
- Weather – Poor weather conditions on outside worksites can lead to workplace injuries and accidents. Working in inclement weather may specifically lead to an increase in overexertion and falls.
- Training – Inefficient training can lead to an increase in accidents. It’s imperative to make sure each employee has been trained on everything from how to correctly operate specific machinery to general safety procedures.
- Transit – Many workplace injuries occur because of driving accidents. Make sure all company vehicles are inspected and repaired on a regular basis.
Workplace Injury Prevention Strategies
It’s important that you create a comprehensive plan with a variety of strategies that work together. The following are steps that need to be taken in order to reduce workplace injuries.
- Hiring the right people– Many times safety starts with human resources. It’s necessary to properly screen new hires on their ability to perform specific job functions. Hiring the best people for each position is a crucial aspect of a fatality prevention plan.
- Educating and training– It’s imperative to have a training program in place for every department and each specific job. According to the United States Department of Labor, it’s important to make sure both supervisors and general employees receive adequate training.
- Monitoring employees– A system for monitoring how well your employees follow safety procedures is an essential part of any workplace injury prevention strategy. There needs to be a system in place for documenting who has specifically monitored an employee and what was witnessed.
- Enforcing consequences– When safety procedures have not been followed, there need to be adequate consequences in place. When you don’t consistently respond to non-compliance, you send the message that following safety procedures isn’t that important.
- Reviewing injuries– After injuries or unsafe practices have occurred, you’ll need to review why this happened in each particular case and what can be done to prevent it from happening in the future.
- Identifying weaknesses– It’s important to identify patterns of weakness and areas needing change or reinforcement. You should use the right industrial safety equipment suppliers, the best data possible, and real-time feedback to assess each situation and create strategies that address these particular areas.
- Reinforcing safety practices– It’s necessary to discuss safety practices and prevention procedures on an ongoing basis. This should be done during evaluations and regular staff meetings.
- Rewarding– Employees should be rewarded for following and maintaining workplace accident prevention strategies. This could include rewarding shifts, teams or individuals.
Musculoskeletal rehabilitation is a set of treatments that can help you recover strength and the ability to move your muscles and joints. This kind of treatment may be used after an accident, injury, or disease that makes you less able to move your muscles or joints.
Your musculoskeletal system is the muscles and bones in your body. These are the parts of your body that help you move, lift, and work with tools. Many injuries and diseases can damage your bones and muscles or make it harder to use them. Some of these include:
- Tendonitis in your shoulder, arm, or ankle
- Muscle tears
- Ligament sprains or tears
- Inflammation within the bursae and joints
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Ganglion cysts
- Foreign bodies like splinters or glass in your muscles
If you have a condition that affects your musculoskeletal system, your healthcare provider may recommend several different kinds of treatment, including rehabilitation.
Soft tissues include, muscles, tendons ligaments, and nerves.
Soft tissue manipulation covers a range of treatments which aim to improve the mobility of stiff, immobile soft tissues and those with poor circulation due to inactivity or increased tension. It is also used to help mobilize scar tissue, thereby preventing long term recurrence of inflammation.
Applying a scientific, evidence-based approach to your ergonomics process is important. The goal is to identify ergonomic risk factors, quantify them, and then make measurable improvements to the workplace, ensuring that jobs and tasks are within workers’ capabilities and limitations. The best approach for doing this is to make ergonomics an ongoing process of risk identification and risk reduction based on objective, scientific analysis of your workplace.
The Physical Demand Analysis is the first crucial step in the development of a comprehensive injury management program. It includes analytical measures of the physical requirements to perform the essential and marginal job tasks, identifies maximum forces, cognitive and skill requirements, reports positional tolerances, outlines necessary machinery, tools, an environmental factors. The PDA also uses ergonomic principles to determine alternative methods of performing tasks and assess risk factors, taking into consideration the possible need for reasonable accommodations.
An employer approach to improving employee health, wellness programs include activities such as company-sponsored exercise, weight-loss competitions, educational seminars, tobacco-cessation programs, and health screenings that are designed to help employees eat better, lose weight, and improve overall physical health.