6 Evolving Risks Impacting Workplace Injuries
There are many factors that can affect the well-being and safety of employees – whether from distracted driving while conducting business on the road to receiving proper rehabilitation after an incident occurs. By understanding the evolving risks that come with pre- and post-workplace injury, companies can take the necessary measures to help reduce the risks and recovery time that can negatively impact their workforce and bottom line.
Evolving Risks: Pre-Injury
1. Changing Nature of Work
With many organizations now permitting employees to work remotely, and entire industries utilizing gig or contract workers, the traditional methods of managing workplace safety may no longer be adequate. If your organization utilizes contract workers or has employees working from home, it should ensure that their work environment is safe and appropriate for the expected job duties performed.
2. Onboarding Employees
Workers in their first year on the job account for a disproportionate number of workers compensation claims compared to workers with a year or more on the job. Implementing a robust new-hire training program, including ongoing training, can help to reduce the risks these less-experienced employees face.
3. Increasing Driver Distractions
61% of drivers say they respond to texts, emails and calls while driving because there may be an emergency. If your business has employees on the road, this creates a significant injury exposure for your operation, as auto accidents are the largest source of workplace fatalities. Having a formal plan to help your team members avoid driving distracted is a great first step.
Evolving Risks: Post-Injury
4. Understanding Employee Health
As the workforce ages, there are increasing instances of injured workers having unrelated, but complicating, medical issues like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, sleep apnea, mental health concerns or other conditions. By understanding employee health factors, employers can make plans to support and manage the workforce effectively to reduce this risk.
5. Opioid Misuse
While prescribing physicians are more actively managing opioid and other painkiller prescriptions, misuse by injured workers remains a significant problem. This can lead to drug dependency and addiction, longer recovery periods, more missed workdays and increased expenses. Avoiding or limiting prescription painkillers by using alternative pain management solutions is a key to reducing the negative outcomes on workers and organizations.
6. Patient Care
Delayed treatment from workplace injuries can result in slower recovery and long-term breaks from employment. Engaging injured employees in a personalized care plan as soon as the injury is reported can lead to better outcomes, shorter recovery periods and less missed time, which benefit not only the employee but also the employer and their community.
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