According to the US Department of Labor’s most recent statistics, in 2014 there were 1.2 million days lost to non-fatal employee injuries and illnesses in private and public sector jobs. Most of these job related events involved musculoskeletal injuries, stemming from slips, trips, and falls. Many of these accidents could have been prevented with some health and safety education in the workplace.
The summer months are a particularly good time to launch health initiatives which can help prevent accidents and illnesses that can happen. Why? Summer is when heat exhaustion and dehydration can make employees sick, and they are exposed to more things by working outside or in fast-paced surroundings.
Here are 4 health and wellness initiatives to launch this summer to protect your employees and your business.
Fresh Air Fitness
Scientific studies have shown that in the summer months employees take fewer breaks and go outside due to the Heat. Only about one-quarter of the workforce will actually get up from their air-conditioned offices to stretch or get any exercise. One way to help increase physical fitness and improve concentration at work is to Institute a fresh air fitness campaign. Encourage employees to take a 15 to 30-minute walk outside every day and rack up their points on a wearable fitness device. They can win prizes and compete for recognition.
Healthy Lungs for Life
Despite all the health risks, associated with the habit many employees still smoke on a regular basis. That’s why the summertime can be a great opportunity to educate employees about smoking cessation programs in the workplace. Provide incentives for employees who wish to quit smoking. Have a doctor available to counsel and provide medical support for your employees who want to stop smoking.
In the summer, employees are less likely to want to eat or even to drink water. However, as an employer it is your responsibility to help employees stay healthy and hydrated. Load all vending machines with healthy drinks instead of soda. Provide free water and Gatorade to increase employees’ electrolytes. Host a summertime cook-off and encourage your employees to bring healthy recipes to share with others.
While you are working on other healthy initiatives for your summer employees, it’s also a good time to do some cleaning around the office. Ask all employees to do a visual sweep of their work areas and note any clutter areas as well as safety hazards. Work with your maintenance and management team to clear these areas. Trips and falls can easily happen even from a box of paper being left in a hallway, poor lighting in a work area, or a filing cabinet with a broken drawer.
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