It’s the most injure-ful time of the year… (with apologies to Andy Williams)
Yup. It’s the holiday season. It’s that time of the year when there’s more to do, and less time to do it in.
Holiday hours are extended, but workloads are larger. Much larger. In many industries (think retail, warehousing and shipping, for example) extra people are hired to cope with the increased movement of goods and services. But these seasonal workers may not have all the training- and practice time required to turn training into safe lifting habits. Existing, regular employees, in the rush of the moment, may also forget to work safely.
And where safe lifting techniques and methods give way to bad lifting habits… injuries!
Turkey dinners, holiday parties, jingle bells, mistletoe, sore backs?
Statistically, the holiday season is the time of year most likely to be punctuated with injuries.
And while this blog is mostly concerned with on-the-job strain/ sprain injuries (or rather, preventing them), holiday injuries are much less discerning and discriminating.
As a general rule, physical material handling increases dramatically during the holidays across the board. And it’s not difficult to see why.
In addition to an increased workload at work, there are, in many households, the added burden of:
- Large (or heavy) gifts
- Food (a 12 pound turkey weighs, well, 12 pounds. And that’s a medium sized bird. Fixin’s not included.
- A Christmas tree (a 6 – 7 foot tree can weigh upwards of 50 pounds).
- Putting the tree topper on said tree.
- Decorations and lights, in some cases, 2 separate sets for November and December celebrations.
- Chairs, tables, beds for guests & visitors, both welcome and/or un-. Possible increase in stress levels.
Injury: productivity’s worst enemy
We love the workers, we hate the injuries. But instead of focusing on the injuries, let’s find ways to prevent the thing from happening in the first place.
Look, we’d all like to pretend that our workers know what to do, and that the bare minimum training is sufficient to keep our seasonal workers from being injured. We also know that an ounce of pretention is worth a pound of manure. Or something like that. Prevention, at any rate, is better than cure. And let’s be honest: the bare minimum just doesn’t cut it. Ever.
Effective training today helps ensure that employees come back tomorrow
Because not only will they stay safe at work, they’ll be able to use safe material and physical load-handling skills they learned at home.
An effective safe-lifting program will mean that an employee begins to lift safely instinctively, because the safe lifting becomes a habit that they practice everywhere and anywhere. If they lift that Christmas tree safely at home, they’ll be back to work tomorrow. Pick up that bicycle wrongly, and they won’t. ‘Nuff said.
Jokes aside, we’re serious about back- and joint health
Like you, we at PowerLift® are committed to having a work environment where safety thrives. For everyone.
We’ll train employees from all levels of your organization, not just to lift safely themselves, but to create communities of safety when they return to their workstations. We believe that Safety at the workplace must become a part of the culture, and we strive to work with you to create that culture at your company.
We invite you to visit our website, and see how PowerLift® Trainings can make the difference for you and your employees.
Happy holidays from PowerLift®!