Take Five: Tips to Improve Workplace Wellness

Take Five: Tips to Improve Workplace Wellness

Staying healthy and free from accidents at work is important.

No matter what your job, it is imperative to know the environmental and task-oriented factors that may increase the risk of injury and/or illness in the workplace. Once these potential risks are identified, you are able to take the necessary steps to actively manage the risks of work-related injury or illness.

Reduce Workplace Stress

Common workplace stressors include long hours, heavy workload, job insecurity and conflicts with fellow employees. Stress can lead to depression, sleeping difficulties and problems with concentration—ultimately affecting employee morale and productivity. Finding meaningful ways to reduce these stressors can help to diminish these factors. Hold wellness events aimed at stress reduction, offer unexpected surprises or signs of gratitude and partner with ergonomically trained professionals who can bolster these efforts by assessing the physical stressors of the work environment.

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Active communication between the management and/or human resource department and employees is essential to identify areas of wellness that can be improved. Often, these concerns may not be known at managerial levels; therefore, it is important for employees to feel empowered when sharing their concerns.

Create a Workplace Safety Culture

Stop and think for a moment about how often—and in what ways—you convey the importance of workplace safety to your employees. Does it get discussed monthly, quarterly or annually? If you want to reduce workplace injuries, consider making workplace safety an important part of your company’s culture. You can begin by understanding the root causes of your most serious workplace injuries and regularly surveying the workplace for potential safety hazards in equipment and work design. Success in developing this culture relies on open communication between employers and employees that is free from consequence when relaying concerns.

Partner with Occupational Clinicians

Occupational medicine clinicians can provide valuable insight into the potential for workplace injury and means of prevention. Physical and occupational therapists can improve workplace ergonomics via assessment and educational techniques, and fit-for-duty evaluations to help screen candidates for physically demanding roles, in addition to providing in-clinic therapies that aid in the return-to-work process.

Regular Workplace Wellness Check-Ups

It never hurts to be overprepared. Regular meetings to review safety procedures and discuss injury prevention help to keep these elements at the forefront of employees’ minds. This steady state of preparedness will ensure that employees of all levels will be empowered to maintain their workplace wellness, as well as have the tools to address situations when they do occur. As an employer, it is our responsibility to protect employees and provide them with a safe workplace.

Jamie Martin, PT, is a partner with STRIVE Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation.

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Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 9, Issue 6 (June 2019).

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Author: Jamie Martin


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