It’s no secret that the different parts of our lives are all connected. Even if you don’t bring your work home with you in a briefcase, the spillover between the professional and personal is unavoidable. With that being the case, the way we look at workplace safety should also be part of a bigger picture of general wellness. Some common health issues we might consider include:
Insufficient Sleep. No matter how much coffee has been brewed, insufficient sleep will take a toll on anyone. That’s not good, because studies have indicated that only about 60% of the country’s sleepers are getting the seven hours of nightly shut-eye recommended by physicians. If you apply that to a 10-person workplace, that means almost half the employees are probably displaying symptoms like reduced cognitive function and a higher chance of becoming distracted while taking more risks.
Overweight or obese. Among other health issues, obesity has been linked to muscular and joint problems, a higher risk of cardiac illness and reduced mobility. The musculoskeletal effects of obesity are some of the most relevant when it comes to on-the-job injuries. The increased strain placed on an overweight person’s muscles and bones opens up the chance of sustaining a strain or sprain while performing work-related tasks. What’s more, chronic obesity has been linked to both decreased productivity at work as well as higher average healthcare costs — both things clearly pertaining to an individual’s professional life.
Drug and alcohol addiction. Dealing with addiction can be incredibly difficult. It’s also highly necessary. Beyond personal effects, addicted individuals are up to three times more likely to get hurt in the workplace. Addiction also causes about $263 billion in lost productivity in the U.S. on an annual basis. In Delaware, only about 10 percent of people with an addiction receive treatment.
A manager only has so much sway with employees, but considering the larger context of workplace safety is an important part of risk management. Employers can do this by making staff aware of the resources available — either through company benefits or in the wider community — and keeping an eye on some of the factors employees might bring to work.