How much time do we spend at work? Over the course of a lifetime, probably a lot more than you think. The average person spends approximately 13 years at work, according to one analysis from HuffPost Australia. While at work, many of the tasks we perform are repetitive. Typing, driving, lifting, hammering, moving, and countless other duties make up our day-to-day work life. Over a period of time, repeat movements, poor posture and sedentary work may contribute to workplace injuries.
Workplace Injury Stats
And as benign as these tasks may seem, patients with workplace injuries would tell you otherwise. In 2017, WorkSafeBC statistics reported a total of 152,912 workplace injuries (a 2.5% increase from 2016) and 106,808 first-paid claims for the year. Of these, 54,386 claims were for short-term disability, long-term disability and work-related deaths, and over 55% were attributed to back and other body strains.
Workplace injuries can leave a big impact on employees and business likewise. Between the medical bills, loss of productivity, compensation paperwork, and decreased morale, the costs are high. Although many are preventable, workplace injuries are on the rise.
What To Do?
Next time you lift a heavy box, climb a ladder or decide you don’t really need a break, take the time to stop and think about your following move. Ask yourself:
- Are you well trained to perform this job duty safely?
- Do you feel alert and ready to do this task?
- Have you taken a few moments to warm up before conducting a physical activity?
- Do you have the right equipment (including wearables) available for a safe day at work?
- Are you properly trained to use the equipment/materials?
If any of these questions bring up concerns, it’s time to address them with your employer. After all, happy and healthy employees are productive employees – all good things that your employer benefits from. Along with employing preventative methods such as maintaining good posture, keeping hydrated, taking frequent breaks, and stretching before work, being mindful of your actions and the environment is just as important.
Is it really a surprise that the day you have a huge deadline and are flustered with details is the same day you accidentally sent an email to the wrong recipient? It could also be the day that you reach for that heavy box on the top shelf and get hurt. Not allowing yourself enough time to consider your plan of action can be hazardous. There are no deadlines in this world that are more important than your health and safety. Remember, the things that you do to make your workplace safer benefit everyone.
Suffered from a work-related injury? WorkSafeBC is here to offer support through each step of the claim process. Find out how to report a workplace injury or disease.
Finally, let’s not forget that what affects us at work is going to follow us home and impact the activities in life that we enjoy. If you do find yourself in a bit of a sore spot [pardon the pun], it’s a good idea to consult a local chiropractor about recovery options.