Every business has a responsibility to safeguard the welfare of its workers, and the risks of not investing in employee safety protection can be disastrous. Even the simplest of injuries can lead to a range of knock-on effects for businesses across a multitude of injuries, with soft-tissue injuries being among the most common workplace complaints.
Each and every day, workers can be at risk of these kinds of injuries. They may be caused by knocks, falls, impacts, repetitive movements, bad posture, and more, and while sprains, strains, and other soft-tissue injuries aren’t particularly damaging in the long term from a physical perspective, they can cause a range of issues for any business.
Studies have shown that workers who have suffered soft-tissue injuries to the muscles, tendons, or nerves have significantly higher rates of healthcare use; having to visit doctors and clinics more frequently, taking more time off work to deal with their injuries, resulting in reduced productivity and a range of additional consequences for businesses to endure.
In other words, these kinds of injuries aren’t just physically damaging, they’re financially risky for businesses and can even lead to lawsuits and legal action being taken. In short, any modern business wanting to keep up with the times and protect its workers should do all it can to minimize the risks of soft-tissue injuries in general, and here’s how it can be done.
Understand The Risks
Before attempting to solve a problem, it needs to be thoroughly understood, so it can often pay off for business owners and managers to do their research on soft-tissue injuries and learn more about how they work, what can cause them, what parts of the body can be affected, possible symptoms and side effects, and more.
There are a lot of misconceptions about soft-tissue injuries, so it’s certainly wise to take the time to learn as much about them as possible. For example, a soft tissue injury can occur in many places in the body, even though they’re most commonly associated with areas like the ankles and wrists, and even though these injuries may not appear too grave at first, they can get worse over time and may even require surgical repair.
Provide Additional Breaks And Rest
One of the most common causes of soft-tissue injuries is repetitive movements and excessive force being exerted by workers. In short, if a worker is made to repeat the same movements over and over again or lift overly heavy objects for long periods of time without any time to recuperate in between, the chances of them suffering an injury will be heightened.
Therefore, a simple way to minimize the chances of these injuries occurring in the first place is to give workers more chances to rest up in between shifts and while on the job as well. Providing restrooms with comfortable chairs and other amenities will give workers a chance to recover from any fatigue or aches they may be experiencing in the workplace.
Make Use Of Safer, Healthier, Recommended Techniques
Of course, there are some businesses, industries, and situations that involve workers having to repeat certain movements or lift heavy items. This simply can’t be avoided, and these workers will always be at higher risk of soft-tissue injuries than those in less physically demanding and intensive jobs. However, there are ways for these workers to operate that can help them stay safe.
Bring in professionals if needed to advise workers on safer ways to repeat movements and carry out their daily functions without putting themselves at such high risks. You can also introduce new tools and equipment like lifts and carts to help reduce the amount of heavy lifting that needs to be done around the workplace as well.
As well as bringing in new methods and tools, it’s vital for businesses to ensure that their workers are trained in the use of these new methods and pieces of equipment. Often, injuries can occur due to improperly-prepared workers misusing a tool or following an incorrect procedure, so worker education can be a really important part of the battle against soft-tissue injuries.
Workers should also be trained to understand the risks associated with physically demanding tasks and know the signs of soft-tissue injuries. They should be instructed and encouraged to stop working if they feel aches and pains and seek necessary medical treatment swiftly, rather than trying to work through the pain of believing that problems will simply go away over time.
Create A Positive Workplace Culture
Following on from the point above, it’s often the case that workers may feel scared, intimidated, or simply unable to let management know when they have a problem, and this can be caused by negative workplace culture. It’s up to management and business owners to foster a more positive, welcoming, and understanding culture in which employees can feel comfortable to open up and be honest.
The medical reports show that soft-tissue injuries can get much worse if left untreated and can also exacerbate quite gravely if a worker continues to put strain and stress on the affected area. Workers should therefore be encouraged to report any issues they experience and get the help they need, and this all starts by creating a working environment where employees are heard and valued.
The risks of soft-tissue injuries for any business are simply too great to ignore. Not only can they have a whole host of negative effects on workers’ lives, but they can also negatively impact the culture, appeal, and productivity of your business too. That’s why these injuries need to be taken seriously.
Fortunately, as the tips and techniques outlined above help to demonstrate, it’s perfectly possible for modern businesses to take the necessary action and work to prevent these injuries occurring in the first place, as well as minimizing the effects they have in the long term too. Keep these tips in mind and help to create a safer space for every worker.