You get workers’ compensation insurance to cover the costs of injury and illness in the workplace. Still, the ultimate goal is to avoid ever needing to file a claim in the first place. To reduce the risk of a workers’ compensation claim in your workplace, it’s a good idea to take proactive measures to protect your employees.
One of the most common and most overlooked work injuries stems from overexertion. Overexertion is the second leading nonfatal injury or illness to force employees to miss work, according to the National Safety Council. Using preventative strategies, you can help reduce the number of injuries in your business, thereby reducing the number of claims you need to file. By reducing the number of claims, you can also save money on your workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
Let’s examine what overexertion injuries are and the steps you can take to reduce the risk of these common injuries happening in your workplace.
What is Overexertion and Why Does It Lead to Workers’ Compensation Claims?
Overexertion injuries are caused when someone strains their body to perform a job beyond their physical capacity. These injuries often occur in high-demanding physical jobs, such as construction or health care. Still, they can occur in any work environment where someone is being asked to perform a physical task.
Any task that asks a person to do the following will put the employee at risk of overexertion:
- Bend, stoop, or crawl for an extended period
- Work in extreme weather conditions
- Perform a repetitive task
- Push or pull heavy objects
Regardless of what type of material a person is working with, from heavy boxes of office paper to moving construction materials or transporting people in a hospital setting, these injuries can occur. It is up to the employer to offer proper guidance and assistance.
Reducing the Risk of Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Due to Overexertion
If your employees conduct these activities in their day-to-day job, here are four tips to help you keep them safer and avoid filing workers’ compensation claims due to overexertion.
Tip #1: Train Your Team
Too often, overexertion is caused by poor technique or pushing too far beyond a person’s limitations. In performing a work task incorrectly, they increase their chances of straining or pulling a muscle on the job.
One of the easiest ways to help your team prevent unnecessary injury is by teaching them proper lifting techniques. In addition, providing your team with the right tools to lift items around your office and/or the worksite can equip them not to perform physical activity beyond their capacity. Clarifying your expectations up front through team training sessions will go a long way toward helping prevent work injuries.
Tip #2: Eliminate Unnecessary Tasks
Repetitive motions are another common reason for overexertion injuries, but often, repetitive tasks happen due to poor process plans.
Look at your current processes and determine where you can streamline functions for your team members. In analyzing how your team is operating day-to-day, you can pinpoint areas where your team is at an increased risk for injury. By shifting their processes, you can help your team stay injury-free and reduce your risk of needing to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Tip #3: Purchase the Right Equipment
If one of your processes requires teams to lift heavy items, investing in lifting and moving equipment can help ease that strain. Or, if your team performs repetitive tasks, purchasing equipment to help them avoid needing to do a repetitive job can also help reduce injuries.
Providing your team with the right equipment is paramount in protecting your employees and workforce.
Tip #4: Invest in Ergonomics
Ergonomic office supplies give your team the right support to protect their body from physical strain from more sedentary work. For example, sitting for long periods can put a strain on a person’s back, causing overexertion. Offering standing desks, ergonomic chairs, or specialized office supplies can help your team feel more comfortable, even if they are required to be in their chairs for longer periods.
We’re Here to Help With Your Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance is a complicated type of coverage. Because so many injuries can occur, there’s a lot to navigate as an employer. We can help. Reach out to McGrath Insurance Group to discuss your current coverage and how you can lower your premiums on this critical type of business insurance.