Every year, numerous companies around the world fill out millions of worker’s compensation claims for employees who are injured on the job. In many cases, these claims are for trips, falls, and other common injuries. However, there are many risks of working in an office, out in the field, or even from home that many employers do not consider. Today, we will talk about the numerous health risks that many don’t typically think about and how to protect our employees from danger.
Employees who work at warehouses, factories, and industrial jobs know all too well that they need to pay attention to posted signage to avoid slips or injury from falling items. However, even the act of leaving the house to get to work can pose a fair share of dangers. Workers who drive to work have the risk of getting in a car accident or altercation. Even if the drive is uneventful, the act of commuting can be dangerous because sitting stationary in a car seat for long periods of time can cause health concerns like increased blood sugar and obesity.
Working at a corporate office may seem like the safest place, but there are also unique risks associated with being chained to the desk for eight hours. For instance, sitting and staring at a computer all day can be bad for the eyes, and over time, it can lead to vision-related ailments like dry eyes and headaches.
Although many companies offer a wide assortment of healthy meals for lunches and breaks, most have limited options and vending machines that are full of candy and sugary drinks. In addition to making us sluggish and less productive, fatty foods can cause serious health issues, including weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. If your employees get sick, then they are more likely to call out, and that doesn’t help anyone.
Many people love the idea of working from the comfort of their own homes, but there are plenty of health risks that we don’t often consider. For instance, if the employee is not provided with a suitable chair that provides the proper support, then they could deal with back and neck issues as they try to sit up to do their work. Slouching in a chair can be just as dangerous because the act puts pressure on our ligaments, which can lead to permanent hunching.
Since many remote employees are comfortable at home, there is also less of a chance that they will get up, move around, and get the physical activity that they need. The fact is that physical inactivity can cause many issues, including obesity and exhaustion. Managers should encourage their employees to take their breaks and go outside to get some fresh air when they do. It is a great way for them to get some exercise and return to work feeling refreshed.
If your employees do not take the time to clean their homes and improve the air quality, then they could also start to experience health issues. Poor air quality can cause headaches and irritation of the nose, eyes, throat, and lungs. Companies can give their remote teams healthy tips to improve their air quality, like vacuuming, cleaning air ducts around the home, and washing their linens on a regular basis.
The unfortunate fact is that many companies do not think about how the work environment could impact the mental health of their teams, but it is an issue both at home and out in the field.
There are many occupations that keep workers away from the house for weeks on end. Those who work in commercial fishing, offshore oil rigging, and truck driving can be especially impacted because many of the employees are working extended shifts, and when we work too much for too long, we can start to experience burnout. If your employees aren’t given the proper breaks and reasonable schedules, then their work will suffer, and they could start to experience depression and mental health issues that could keep them out of work. They may even carry over that stress into their family life.
The problem of poor mental health is typically a harsher reality for employees who work from home. Many remote managers don’t reach out and communicate as often as they should, and so their employees start to feel isolated and alone. If they don’t make a change, then they could start to experience intense anxiety, zone out at work more often, and even have trouble sleeping.
Employers can provide guidance to their employees about how to handle working from home on a physiological level. Encourage them to reach out to management whenever they are feeling isolated or burned out. Companies can also provide mental health services and professional therapy sessions to those who need them. Another option is to allow employees to work out of flexible spaces like co-working spaces where they can get out of the house and work in an office-like environment, so they feel less alone. As you can see, there are various different risks and health concerns for employees of all types and professions. Consider the advice discussed here, and research the risks in your industry, and you can ensure the safety and security of your teams.