Fatigue and overexertion are leading causes of accidental injury in the American workplace, accounting for at least $13.61 billion in direct costs in 2008 alone (i). With this statistic in mind, it’s clear to see that employers have much to gain by investing in employee comfort. With increased comfort comes decreased fatigue, an essential component to keeping employees engaged both physically and mentally.
A higher level of engagement carries two additional benefits. First, engaged employees perform their job more safely. Additionally, engaged employees perform their job more efficiently. This drives profitability by simultaneously increasing productivity while decreasing the cost of workplace accidents.
There are a variety of ways for employers to invest in the comfort, productivity, and safety of their employees. Below are 5 suggestions, each of which spans a variety of topics including preventative pain management, forward-thinking footwear requirements, and the installation of anti-fatigue safety mats.
5 Ways to promote comfort, productivity, & safety in the workplace
1. Proactively manage pain.
Perhaps you have heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound in cure.” This adage is rooted in the wisdom that it is always better to proactively confront a problem than it is to let it linger and grow worse.
The same can be said about physical pain. When diagnosed early, most general aches and pains can be easily treated and managed. When left untreated, however, minor injuries can grow worse and might ultimately contribute to a slip, trip, or injury on the job.
2. Use anti-fatigue mats in stand areas.
If you’ve traveled recently, you may have noticed the soft floor mats lining the floors at airport security check-ins. These special ergonomic products are called anti-fatigue mats, and they are designed to make environments more comfortable for employees who spend long hours on their feet.
By compressing underfoot, anti-fatigue mats engage all of the foot’s tiny muscles in an effort to maintain balance. This causes a ripple effect that engages muscle fibers throughout the ankles, calves, legs, and lower back. And while these muscle contractions are barely felt, they effectively stimulate blood flow throughout the body. This increases nutrient and oxygen delivery, keeping employees fresh while on their feet.
3. When necessary, tailor work uniforms to protect against foot injury.
Bartenders spend hours standing to be the bar, often navigating through spilled drinks and food. Factory laborers work along assembly lines and other areas where heavy objects are frequently transported. No matter what the job, most workers are exposed to a unique safety challenge in virtue of the environment in which they work. By tailoring work uniforms to accommodate for these conditions, employers can require employees to wear rubber soles, steel-toed shoes, etc. that will provide foot protection while on the job.
4. When it comes to safety assessment, think ROI.
Safety assessments identify areas of hazard so measures can be taken to ensure the safety of both employees and facility guests. In many cases, this involves investment in items like commercial matting, signage, overhead lighting, handrails, and other safety products. When making investments in safety, managers are encouraged to consider the return on investment (ROI) such as products and programs yield. According to the U.S. Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA), “an effective safety program can save $4 to $6 for every $1 invested,” (ii).
5. Spread awareness for health and safety.
Finally, it’s important to remember that knowledge is power. Businesses that choose to invest in health education can equip employees to make lifestyle choices that significantly reduce exposure to long-term injury.
Fight Fatigue with Commercial Safety Products
Shop commercial floor mats on Eaglemat.com for a comprehensive selection of industry-leading anti-fatigue products. For additional assistance, contact Eagle Mat Client Services at 1-877-333-1018.