But it will help to mitigate workplace injuries that are a potential problem during these challenging times.

What is needed is a shift: first in the way we view safe and healthy ways to lift, and move heavy loads with our bodies, and then in how we train people to use these new techniques. 

The thing is, a healthy and protective method of lifting and moving materials with the human body does exist. And yes, it differs in many ways from what we already know. Aside from all that, and most importantly, it works. For several reasons:

  • It works naturally. PowerLift® Training is an extension of the physics and physiology of the human body. 
  • It acknowledges that the human body possesses both powerful mechanics and built-in limitations. PowerLift® optimizes, maximizes and preserves the innate strength and structure of the musculoskeletal system. 
  • PowerLift® Training includes support materials and a learning structure that creates and maintains both an environment and culture of safety.
With or without a global pandemic, a new way to protect the health of our workers’ musculoskeletal systems is desperately needed. And we happen to occupy the same space and time as a contagious and potentially deadly virus. In our modern world, this is a relatively new threat, and the consequences continue to unravel.

The labor shortage is worsening. And it’s bad news for workplace safety.

A direct, and somewhat unexpected consequence of the global pandemic is that today, there are more than 11 million unfilled job openings as we move from 2021 into 2022. Part of the reason is that the labor pool has shrunk to less than 8.5 million workers at the time of this writing. 

How we got here can quickly devolve into a long line of who’s and why’s, to say nothing of endless and useless finger-pointing. But while the politicians and attorneys figure out the guilt, fault and fallout, the real casualties are the workers who are at the wrong end of the proverbial stick. The math is not difficult to understand. But neither is it particularly encouraging.

Increased Workload

It’s a common-sense, statistical fact that is easy to pretend not-to-know. And in our intentional ignorance, we soldier on.

When the crunch comes, as inevitably it does, it’s typically the result caused by the same number of workers doing more work. Inevitably, those workers suffer higher levels of fatigue, carelessness, and even loss of situational awareness. Even seasoned workers may play the game of “gotta get the job done, no matter what” and revert to pre-training behaviors. This in turn leads to more injuries, some of which are life-long.

Statistics bear this up: a 37% increase in injury risks was observed when work days were extended to 12 hours. And the National Safety Council reported in 2018 that fatigue was brought on by demanding jobs 86% of the time. The NSC also found that fatigue is a  major contributing factor of up to 13% of workplace injuries.

Less Workers More Work Labor Shortage

Increased Workload + Fewer Workers 

It’s not hard to connect these particular dots. And it’s no secret that, even under the most ordinary circumstances, the holiday rush means longer hours, increased movement of products and a flurry of hiring to prepare for said rush. 

 

That was already true before a potentially deadly virus claimed the lives of nearly 400,000 people between the ages of 25 and 64 in the US alone. 

Many of those who came through the pandemic found themselves faced with greater employment opportunities and options at their disposal. And workers are making different employment choices, leaving gaping vacancies in industries across the job market. This, consequently, puts a greater strain on the workers who are (still) at those jobs: more is demanded of the ones who have stayed to work, or who have not (as yet) quit.

Increased Workload + Less Experience 

It may only be a year, but oh, what a difference 365 days can make! 

Canada’s Institute of Work and Health (IWH) states that an employee with a year under their belt is only one-third as likely to experience a lost-time injury on the job, compared to a new employee in their first month of employment. That statistic is backed up by findings made by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

During the wind-up and activity of a typical holiday season, musculoskeletal injuries from bending, twisting, reaching and lifting incorrectly increase dramatically. And with a diminished workforce, there is an influx of less experienced, less well-trained individuals. Many of these individuals may only be hired on a seasonal basis, adding to the tragedy: that a temporary job could cause an injury that impacts the next several years of their lives; in some cases, it may be a lifelong condition.

Please let us know how we can help you keep your employees healthy and safe from injury.

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