Workers' compensation insurance provides financial protection for individuals who suffer an injury while on the job or performing work-related tasks. If you have a way to prevent these injuries, that is always important to do. Doing so helps minimize your risks and costs for such coverage. Yet, it may seem difficult to minimize risks associated with repetitive-motion injuries. Here’s how to begin.
Determining why an injury is happening is an important step in keeping your business insurance costs low. Start there to build a comprehensive risk management process.
What Are Repetitive Injuries in the Workplace?
Your first goal is to address any type of workplace injury that may fall into this category. Generally, repetitive motion injuries occur when the muscles, tendons, and other structures of the body suffer damage as a result of performing the same action many times. Just about any area of the body can suffer this type of damage when strain occurs. Some common instances include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Lower back pain
- Rotator cuff syndrome
- Trigger finger syndrome
Identifying these risks is the first step to take. If you have employees that suffer symptoms of these types of injuries, be sure to determine what tasks they are performing that could be the cause. They may suffer tingling, pain, tenderness, or numbness, for example. Severe disability might even result.
People in some types of work are more likely to suffer these injuries. This includes delivery workers, janitors, nurses, stock clerks, and process workers. Yet, there are ways to minimize them.
How to Prevent Them
You cannot prevent all injuries from occurring. This is why you have workers’ compensation insurance. However, these steps may help reduce their frequency:
- Monitor employees as they work. Be sure they follow specific methods and training. If they seem to be straining, this indicates they are likely at risk. If they are not doing their job properly, you may need to adjust the process to minimize risks.
- Ensure employees take breaks from repetitive tasks. Just turning away for a few minutes each hour can help minimize most of these risks.
- Ensure employees are switching positions as often as possible. You want them to engage in various tasks. This can help to reduce the risk that they are performing the same task time and time again.
Educating your employees about the right way to take these steps is important. It can help you to get the very best level of protection for each one. While workers’ comp insurance provides some protection, minimizing risks to employees remains important.